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Albany Firefighters Bang a Second-Alarm with Heavy Fire on Quail St.

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

ALBANY, NY - On the freezing cold day of January 15th at 4:25 A.M., with temperatures hovering around 11°F, the communications officers at the city of Albany emergency communication center began to receive multiple calls for 29 Quail Street, reporting a working structure fire with heavy fire pushing from the roof of the building.

Engines 7 and 2, Truck 2, Rescue 2, the rescue squad, Engine one, Truck 3, Mohawk Ambulance Service, and Battalion 1 responded to the scene. The dispatcher notified Engine 7 that there was now possible entrapment in one of the neighboring structures. Police units quickly arrived on scene and notified the dispatcher that they had a fully involved working structure fire with multiple houses on fire and began to go to work evacuating the neighboring houses, as the heavy fire was impinging on both structures on each side. As Engine 7 turned down Quail Street, they had heavy fire pushing out into the street from the structure and heavy fire pushing from the roof of the structure, and immediately transmitted the Signal 30 and the second-alarm, as they had numerous exposure issues. Engines 10 and 11, Rescue 1, and Truck 4 responded to the scene on the second-alarm.

Engine 1 immediately grabbed the hydrant on their way in and made the water supply for the scene. Firefighters from Engine 7 deployed multiple hand lines and began to go to work on exposure protection, as the primary structure was fully involved and heavy fire was pushing out of every window, the front door of the structure, and blowing through the roof of the building. Engine 7's officer with command of the scene notified the dispatcher that they had firefighters going to work pulling people from the neighboring buildings and requested two aerials to take the front of the building for master stream operations. Command requested two ambulances to the scene for individuals from the fire buildings. Heavy embers from the roof of the structure poured into the freezing cold morning sky, lighting up the surrounding neighborhoods. Command requested CDTA to the scene with a warming bus.

Firefighters on scene made their way into the exposure buildings, as they had heavy fire pushing into 27 Quail Street. Firefighters deployed a two-and-a-half-inch hand line and took up a defensive position from the street and began to knock down the heavy fire pushing from the windows and roof of the structure. Multiple truck companies quickly began to set up on scene for master stream operations. Firefighters notified command that everybody was accounted for from the two adjacent fire buildings, and the victims from the fire were waiting on Third Street for the ambulances.

Firefighters deployed multiple hand lines into each building and made their way to the second-floor areas of the structures and began to go to work. As firefighters were doing so, multiple truck companies opened up their master streams onto the main fire building and thick heavy steam began to pour into the morning sky. As firefighters were knocking down the heavy fire condition, 29 Quail Street collapsed and command had all firefighters operating in 27 and 31 Quail Street evacuate the structures and take up defensive postures. Firefighters conducted a par check and made sure everybody was accounted for and continued to conduct defensive operations for an extended period of time.

Firefighters in the rear of the structure continued to utilize multiple hand lines, preventing the fire from spreading further as they still had heavy fire in the roof area of the main fire building. Crews continued defensive operations for an extended period of time before making it into the exposure buildings to check for any further extension. Due to the aggressive actions of the firefighters from the city of Albany, the heavy fire condition from the main fire building was not able to fully spread to the nearby structures. Command requested the Watervliet FD, City of Troy’s FD, Watervliet Arsenal FD and Colonie EMS into the City of Albany to help handle calls in the City of Albany. After firefighters were able to bring the fire under control, they made entry to the exposure buildings and brought the incident under control.

Firefighters were on scene for an extended period of time until the late morning hours. Several civilian injuries were reported by command and those individuals were transported to the hospital. The main fire building was a complete loss, and the two exposure buildings suffered extensive damage by the fire. The main fire building will need to be torn down. The Red Cross was contacted for the fire victims involved in the fire. Fire investigators have not yet released the cause of the fire.

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