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Guilderland Man Charged with Arson After Setting Western Ave. House on Fire

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

GUILDERLAND, NY - On January 26th at 6:28 P.M., the Albany County Communication Center and the Town of Guilderland Police Department Communication Center began to receive multiple calls for a reported structure fire across the street from Tractor Supply in the area of 2360 Western Avenue. 

Multiple callers reported smoke and fire coming from the structure. The Guilderland Fire Department, Fort Hunter Fire Department, Westmere Fire Department and Rotterdam Fire District No.2 for the rapid intervention team responded to the scene. Guilderland truck company quickly arrived on scene and had heavy fire pushing from the front of the structure on the 'Delta' side of the building and heavy smoke pushing throughout.

Firefighters on scene immediately transmitted the Signal 30 for a working structure fire and requested North Bethlehem to the scene with their rehab unit. Firefighters immediately deployed a one-and-three-quarter-inch hand line to the front of the structure and began to go to work aggressively knocking down the heavy fire condition pushing from 'Alpha' and 'Delta' side of the structure. The next arriving engine connected to the nearby hydrant and laid in and created a water supply by shutting down the eastbound lanes of Route 20. Another engine established a water supply at another hydrant nearby, but that hydrant failed. Multiple firefighters made entry to the structure and began to conduct a primary search of the building. Command requested national grid and fire investigators to the scene.

As additional resources arrived on scene, firefighters deployed another one-and-three-quarter-inch hand line to the front door of the structure and firefighters began to cool the exterior portion of the structure and ladder the building. Firefighters inside of the structure began to make an aggressive push on the first-floor, driving back the heavy fire condition inside of the building. Firefighters continued to make this push until the heavy fire condition on the first-floor was completely knocked down. Heavy smoke continued to push from the second-floor area of the structure as firefighters were attempting to make a push to the second-floor, but could not do so. Firefighters on the exterior portion of the structure deployed a two-and-a-half-inch hand line and requested it to be charged, but command had them hold off. Firefighters deployed to the roof of the structure and began to attempt to make entry to the side of the structure on the second-floor by utilizing a saw and halligan bar.

Firefighters inside of the structure notified command that all of the visible fire had been knocked down and they were going to be conducting extensive overhaul of the inside of the structure. Fire investigators arrived on scene and began to conduct their investigation into the fire. Firefighters on the exterior portion of the structure tossed a ladder to the second-floor and began to step into the second-floor area and check the floor to make sure it was sound to walk on. Firefighters eventually made entry to the second-floor area and began to conduct extensive overhaul. During the overhaul process, a cat was unfortunately found that had not survived the fire. Fire investigators continued to work on scene for an extended period of time and question the occupant of the structure. No injuries were reported and the house was a total loss.

The Guilderland Police Department, along with Guilderland Fire Investigators and New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control fire investigators, after a thorough investigation, arrested 45-year-old resident of Guilderland, Jason R. Candish, and charged him with arson in the third-degree and aggravated cruelty to an animal. Candish was remanded to the Albany County jail for further trial.

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