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Stephentown Home Destroyed by Stubborn Fire

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | December 30, 2020 | NEW YORK

Story No. 011121111

Stephentown, NY - On December 30, 2020 at 7:32 P.M., the Stephentown Fire Department along with mutual aid from Tsatsawassa, Averill Park and Hoags Corners Fire, were dispatched to 45 Brainard Road for a reported structure fire. The caller's mother reported the house is on fire.

A Hoags Corners firefighter arrived on scene and notified the Dispatcher that the front porch of the house was on fire. The dispatcher notified all responding units that they had a confirmed working fire and notified incoming units that they were taking calls for an explosion from the house.

Hoags Corners fire chief arrived on scene and declared a Signal 30. Command confirmed that everyone was out of the house and requested a re-tone for additional manpower to the scene. The first arriving engine on scene pulled into the driveway and deployed their manpower to the front of the building. Firefighters pulled multiple one-and-three-quarter inch hand lines, including a two-and-a-half inch line, and began to knock down the fire in the front of the house.

As crews were knocking down the fire they ran out of water. Additional tankers began to arrive on scene and supply water. While out of water the fire quickly spread into the roof area. As firefighters were attempting to knock down the fire they learned they had multiple roofs with void spaces, causing major issues for fire suppression efforts on scene. A tanker relay was established, but the water was coming from 10 minutes away. As temperatures went below freezing the ground where firefighters were standing began to freeze, creating slip hazards.

Firefighters struggled to gain access to the fire areas due to the heavy fire conditions inside of the house. An excavator was used to gain access to the house to knock down the fire inside of the roof.

Crews remained on scene for over four hours conducting heavy overhaul. It was later determined that the explosion was a propane tank inside of the residence going off. Fire investigators are currently working to determine the cause of the fire. The house was a total loss. No firefighters were injured on scene while battling the fire.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.