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Columbia County Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm House Fire in Chatham

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | January 25, 2022 | NEW YORK

Story No. 020222102

CHATHAM, NY - On January 25th at 3:55 P.M., the Chatham FD along with the Ghent FD, East Chatham FD, Austerlitz FD, Valatie FD, Niverville FD for the FAST team, and Chatham Ambulance were dispatched to 3 Prospect Street for a reported basement fire.

The first arriving chief on scene had smoke showing from the structure and declared the working fire dispatch. After conducting a size up of the scene, Command declared the second-alarm which brought additional resources to the scene from Tri-Village FD and Kinderhook FD, as well as the City of Hudson for their truck company. Firefighters laid in a supply line from Locus and Spring Street to the scene.

Extreme caution had to be used on scene, as the driveway was very steep and icy. Firefighters deployed a one-and-three-quarter inch hand line to the front of the structure along with a ladder, as the building did not have a staircase leading to the first floor. Firefighters attempted to make a quick knock down as they made entry to the structure, but due to the balloon frame construction of the building and the heavy fire load inside, the fire was rapidly spreading up the walls into the attic area.

Command put the FAST team to work after they arrived on scene and requested the Greenport FD to also respond with their FAST team. Command had additional arriving firefighters stage in the front yard. Crews made their way to the roof of the building and began to conduct vertical ventilation, as they had heavy smoke pushing from the roof. After conducting vertical ventilation, heavy fire blew through the vent hole.

With heavy smoke pushing from the front of the structure, Command had all units inside the building switched to defensive operations. Firefighters set up a hand line on the front porch, broke out one of the windows, and deployed water through the window into the first floor. After they were able to get the fire under control, firefighters made entry to the building and began to hit all remaining hot spots on the first and second floors.

The village of Chatham's Department of Public Works brought a large amount of salt to the scene as the roads where water was flowing down from the fire scene began to quickly freeze up. Firefighters remained on scene for an extensive period of time conducting overhaul. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.

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