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New Year's Day Arson Fire Set at Lansingburgh Veterans Association

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

TROY, NY - On January 1st at 9:02 P.M., the alarm of fire tones dropped throughout the city of Troy in all of the fire departments. Engines 1, 4 and 2, Trucks 1 and 2, the rescue squad, Medic 4, and the battalion chief responded to the Veterans of Lansingburgh at 777 1st Avenue for a reported structure fire. The caller reported the building to be on fire. The battalion chief was notified by the dispatcher that they had received one call on the fire. As Engine 1 arrived on scene, they immediately notified the dispatcher that they had a significant smoke condition showing from the structure and transmitted the Signal 30 for a working structure fire.

Firefighters immediately deployed a one-and-three-quarter-inch hand line and began to knock down the heavy fire condition. As firefighters back-laid to a nearby fire hydrant and began to connect to it and turn the hydrant on, the front of the hydrant blew off and firefighters could not shut it down to reconnect the large diameter hose. Firefighters deployed another 300-feet of hose to the next hydrant around the corner. Firefighters aggressively knocked down all of the visible fire on the exterior portion of the structure and then made entry to the structure to make sure none of the building inside was affected by the fire. Firefighters checked the roof of the structure and the other portion of the building for any type of extension. As firefighters were walking around, they discovered evidence of arson. Police began to secure the scene and question an individual that was located on the scene believed to be involved in the incident.

Paramedics began to evaluate the individual involved in the fire that was in the back of a patrol car in the parking lot. Firefighters conducted overhaul for an extended period of time on scene, making sure there was no extension, and all of the remaining fire was under control. Evidence technicians on scene located a cigarette lighter and components from a gas can from the arson.

Troy Police officers apprehended Michael J. Christiansen, 43, after developing probable cause through an interview. Christiansen was arrested, taken to the Troy Police Department's Central Station for processing, and was held for arraignment on January 2, 2024, at 9 a.m. in Troy City Court. Charges include 3rd Degree Arson and Possession of an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage. After his arraignment, the individual was released on his own reconnaissance to come back at a later court date. The city of Troy‘s Department of Public Utilities was contacted for the broken hydrant. No injuries were reported. Firefighters went back into service later in the evening.

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