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Crews Face Hoarding Conditions at Fatal House Fire in Mechanicville

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January 01, 2022 | NEW YORK JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

MECHANICVILLE, NY - On January 1st, the Mechanicville Fire Department, along with the Round Lake Fire Department for their FAST team, were dispatched to Four Viall Avenue for a reported structure fire. The caller reported that a house was on fire with someone possibly trapped inside.

The first arriving chief on scene had nothing showing on Viall Avenue and began to search for the reported structure fire. The chief notified the dispatcher to call back the caller to get a better address, as the first address given for the fire location was a warehouse. After the dispatcher told the chief that there was an issue getting the correct address from the caller, Car 39-5 made his way down the street to Round Lake Avenue where he discovered a working structure fire with neighbors trying to force entry to the home. The chief immediately transmitted the second-alarm, bringing Hillcrest FD, Arvin Heart FD, Melrose FD, Halfmoon-Waterford FD, Waterford FD, Stillwater FD and Clifton Park EMS to the scene.

With heavy smoke pushing from the first floor windows of the house, the fire chief and police officers attempted to make entry to the structure. Fire broke through one of the windows of the home and began to vent. Firefighters from the first arriving engine immediately made their way to the front porch, quickly placed their masks on and made entry to the structure to search for the reported trapped victim.

As firefighters made their way through the front room they discovered heavy hoarding conditions along with thick black smoke banking down to the floor with zero visibility inside the structure. While firefighters conducted a primary search for the victim, additional firefighters from the truck company arrived on scene and began to assist with ventilation and fire suppression.

The hand line crew made their way inside the structure and began to knock down the heavy fire condition in the living room. The search crew radioed out to command that they found the victim and they were making their way out of the structure. Firefighters grabbed the victim from inside one of the bedrooms and made their way towards the front door. Hoarding conditions inside the home made it difficult for the interior crew to pull the victim to the front door.

Command notified all incoming units to stage on Viall Avenue and send their manpower to the front of the building. Command requested EMS to the front of the building for the victim, who was in full cardiac arrest. Firefighters and paramedics immediately began to conduct CPR on the victim. Firefighters loaded the victim onto a stretcher and took them to an awaiting ambulance where he was transported to the hospital. Command requested another ambulance to the scene for one of the neighbors who sustained an injury while trying to get into the house.

Firefighters made their way to the second floor, conducted a primary search and made sure that everyone was out of the structure. Firefighters on the first floor were able to knock down all visible fire within seven minutes of arrival and then began to conduct overhaul. Command requested the Saratoga County fire investigation unit to the scene. With over 65 firefighters on scene, command began to release companies after the fire was knocked down and overhaul was complete.

The fire victim that was transported to the hospital unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. No firefighters on scene were injured. Fire Investigators are currently working to determine the cause of the fire. The other individual that was transported to the hospital had only minor injuries.

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