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Quick Response from Firefighters Stops Possible Disastrous Fire in Hudson Falls

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

HUDSON FALLS, NY - On Monday, January 15th at 3:20 P.M., the Washington County Department of Public Safety's Communications Department received multiple reports and 911 calls that in the area of 337 Main Street, at the location of Dimensional Mills, in Hudson Falls, there was a chimney fire with extension into the structure. The Hudson Falls Police Department and Hudson Falls Fire Department were immediately enroute, with units 154 and 157 from Hudson Falls Police and Car 36 from Hudson Falls Fire quickly arriving on scene and alerting dispatch that the structure of Dimensional Mills was a working structure fire, with flames visible from the roof, and flames starting to come out of both the 'Bravo' and 'Delta' sides.

After the initial arriving units confirmed the structure fire, Fire Command struck a second-alarm, with a commercial structure fire assignment. This called to the scene a full department response from the Hudson Falls Fire Department, the Kingsbury Volunteer Hose Company, the Fort Edward Fire Department, one engine from the Argyle Fire Department, one engine from the Fort Ann Fire Company, F.A.S.T. from the Bay Ridge Fire Company, and two ambulances from the Fort Edward Rescue Squad. After the commercial structure fire assignment, command was established by Car 36 of Hudson Falls Fire and assignments started to be given to incoming and responding units. 

After the initial departments were requested, departments were immediately on the road. The Fort Edward Rescue Squad were on scene with Unit 2741, Ambulance 2751 and Ambulance 2754, with fire units close behind. ER-361 and Tower 363 from the Hudson Falls Fire Department, along with Car 38, ER-382, T-386, and U-387 from the Kingsbury Volunteer Hose Company, and Car 27, Car 2701, RT-271 and ER-273 arrived on scene and started to gear up.

Firefighters from Hudson Falls pulled a line off of ER-361, and brought it to a hydrant near the front of the building and had water flowing shortly after. Firefighters from Fort Edward pulled a supply line off of RT-271 positioned in front of the building, and brought it to ER-361. Hudson Falls' ER-361 then deployed another line and prepared it for flowing water, while Kingsbury's ER-382 went to the 'Delta' side of the building with Tower 363 from Hudson Falls behind it. 

Tower 363 had its firefighters prepare the ground and set the out-riggers out to get the tower up. Car 36 then requested additional mutual aid to the scene, calling the South Glens Falls Fire Company to the scene, with Car 58, Car 580, EL-584, and ET-601 responding.

Kingsbury's U-387 pulled off of Main Street, and Car 38 pulled up off of Main Street near the Hudson Falls Plaza, with South Glens Falls' Car 58, and Car 580 responding and arriving next to Car 38. South Glens Falls Fire's ET-601 and Kingsbury's T-386 pulling behind Car 38. T-386 deployed a drop tank and started to flow water. EL-584 arrived and went to the 'Alpha' side of the building, deploying out-riggers and the ladder and getting firefighters on the roof at a smooth, but fast speed. 

Washington County Department of Public Safety Communications had any available fire coordinators and fire investigators respond to the scene, with multiple coordinators and investigators responding to the scene from Washington County and Warren County. 

With the amount of apparatus on scene, there was already an apparent need for more water. With the position of the building and the distance from the hydrants, Warren County Fire Car 3 on scene alerted Washington County Communications to activate a tanker assignment. This pulled in additional mutual aid from the Argyle Fire Department, Hartford Fire Company, Fort Ann Fire Company, West Fort Ann Fire Company, Greenwich Fire Department, West Glens Falls Fire Company, Bay Ridge Fire Company, and the North Queensbury Fire Department for the tanker assignment. Additionally, the South Queensbury Fire Department was dispatched for their rescue for the SCBA unit. 

As tankers started to roll in, a tanker entrance was set for tankers to enter La Cross Street, entering from the Feeder Street side. At that time, Bay Ridge Fire Companies Car 221 and ET-322 had arrived with F.A.S.T., with ET-324 arriving shortly after for the tanker assignment. Both apparatus pulled in front of the building on Main Street.

At that point, the fire was 30 minutes in, with multiple five-inch lines pulled from different apparatus, with drafts set up and multiple drop tanks set. Mutual aid had started to arrive, with Fort Ann Fire Companies ETA-262, and ETA-264, West Fort Ann Fire Companies ETA-463, Hartford Fire Companies Tanker 343, West Glens Falls Fire Companies Car 210, Engine 312 and Tanker 410, North Queensbury Fire Departments Engine 426 and Tanker 429, South Queensbury Fire Departments Car 206 and Rescue 106, Argyle Fire Departments ER-211 and ET-212, and Greenwich Fire Department units started to arrive on scene after the request for tankers and additional mutual aid. 

With all the mutual aid on scene, tankers were lined up on La Cross Street, with tankers going from La Cross Street, onto Main Street, where two drop tanks were set up. Firefighters started to use the multiple lines set up to battle the fire. Fire Companies went to an offensive operation. Hudson Falls firefighters were now operating Tower 363, with three firefighters on board the bucket. As the tower went up, two firefighters stepped off the bucket and started ventilation on top of the building, with one firefighter staying in the bucket. South Glens Falls firefighters started to go up EL-584’s ladder, also starting ventilation. A third crew, consisting of a combination of South Glens Falls and Kingsbury firefighters went in the back and started an interior attack. Firefighters started fighting the fire inside, when the fire started to gain elevation and started to head towards the roof, where the firefighters were ventilating. 

Fire Command at this point got together with all the fire coordinators, and fire chiefs from the on scene departments, and figured out a game plan for the fire. As the building was a wood plant, they had to think fast. It was at that time that the Washington County Department of Public Safety sUAS unit arrived on scene with a drone. Fire Command, fire coordinators and fire chiefs all discussed what their plan was. Car 36 then communicated that all firefighters were to get off the building and outside from interior attacks, where sixth-alarm evacuation tones were deployed, with an on scene fire apparatus honking its horn. This allowed for all on scene command members to make sure all firefighters were accounted for, and communicate the plan of attack. Firefighters at that moment took the time to go to the Firefighter Rehab Center set up by the on scene Fort Edward Rescue Squad units near Car 38, utilizing the rescue squad's Unit 2741. Firefighters got water, while some went to South Queensbury’s rescue to refill their air packs. Washington County's Mobile Command Center also arrived on scene with a support group giving out coffee and hand warmers on the cold scene.

After all firefighters and personnel were accounted for, firefighters went back in to continue an offensive operation. Two firefighters from South Glens Falls went up EL-584’s ladder with a K12 saw and started to cut a hole into the front siding of the building. A hose was also brought up, allowing for aerial attack from the cut siding. This allowed for a direct attack on where the fire was mostly at. F.A.S.T. members from South Glens Falls, and Bay Ridge assisted during all operations, keeping everyone and everything in order. Tanker assignment command continued to honk the horn of the lead apparatus to swap out apparatus. Apparatus continued to come in to empty their tanks into the two drop tanks, then would leave the site and go back to the staging area. 

Departments from across Washington County, Warren County and Saratoga County covered departments that were operating the fire, with the Middle Falls Fire Department and Cossayuna Department covering the Argyle Fire District and Greenwich Fire District. The Greenfield Fire Department also covered the South Glens Falls Fire Company, with many other departments covering other agencies.

After a long, one hour attack, the fire was contained, and departments started to get released by fire command. Fire Companies stayed on scene until 8:30 P.M. Monday night. 

There were no injuries reported, and the fire is still being investigated at this time.

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LUKAS LEMERYCorrespondent

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