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Multiple Departments Battle House Fire and Frigid Cold Temperatures in West Sand Lake

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January 21, 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.

WEST SAND LAKE, NY - On January 21st at 5:34 P.M., the West Sand Lake FD, Averill Park FD, Best Luther FD, and Sand Lake Ambulance were dispatched to 27 Garner Road for a reported structure fire. The caller reported fire coming from the neighbor's house. As units were responding, the fire quickly spread to the rest of the house and a massive smoke column and glow in the brisk clear sky could be seen from a mile away.

The first arriving chief on scene immediately declared a Signal 30 for a working structure fire and struck the second-alarm, as he had a well involved house fire with extension into the garage. Command made sure that everyone was out of the house and began to conduct his scene assessment. Rensselaer County Emergency Communication Center dispatchers began to make the notifications to the county coordinators, code enforcement, national grid, and the county fire investigators. The second-alarm assignment was also dispatched which consisted of Eagle Mills, Poestenkill, Hoags Corners, Wynantskill, Taborton, and the Mountain View FD for the FAST team.

Best Luther FD Tanker 3 arrived on scene and made their way up the icy driveway. Firefighters quickly deployed multiple hand lines across the front of the house, including a two-and-a-half inch hand line to the front of the house. Rescue 43 made their way to the middle of the driveway and laid a five-inch supply line to Tanker 3. Tanker 43-9 set up at the quarter way mark of the driveway while Averill Park FD Tanker 1-1 took the end of the driveway, creating a water supply chain from the end of the driveway to the scene. As other fire departments started to arrive on scene, crews made their way up the driveway to the scene.

While firefighters conducted a defensive operation on the well involved house, the overspray and mist from the hand lines they were using quickly started to coat their helmets and turnout gear in a layer of ice, as temperatures were hovering around 4°F.

Just as firefighters started to darken down the flames, they ran out of water. Crews began to cut a hole in the rear of the building to access the heavy fire load in the middle of the structure, as a large portion of the roof had collapsed which made easy access to the fire difficult. As soon as additional tankers began to arrive on scene and drop off their water supply, firefighters began to knock down the heavy fire condition inside the structure.

The East Greenbush FD was dispatched to the scene for an engine and their warming bus for firefighters that had been battling the fire in frigid temps. Crews continued to battle the fire for over two hours and conducting extensive overhaul of the scene. Fire investigators arrived and began to conduct an investigation into what caused the fire. Multiple departments provided cover assignments for departments working on scene. No injuries were reported.

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