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Heavy Fire on Arrival After Two Neighboring Cities Are Toned for Structure Fire with Similar Address

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March 14, 2023 | 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.

WATERVLIET, NY - On March 14th at 9:00 P.M., the city of Troy's Fire Department was dispatched for a reported structure fire on the second floor at 2516 6th Avenue. Engines 4, 1 and 2, along with the rescue squad, Trucks 2 and 1, Medic 4 and the battalion chief, began to respond to the scene.

As the battalion chief arrived in the area, he had nothing showing from the structure and requested the dispatcher to repeat the address from the caller. Multiple fire units quickly began to arrive on scene and investigate the incident. The battalion chief notified the dispatcher that they did not have an address on 6th Avenue for that location. As units in the City of Troy were still responding to the address in their city, multiple calls began to come into the Albany County Emergency Communication Center for a fire in the city of Watervliet at the same address, reporting heavy black smoke coming from the second floor of the building. Firefighters from the city of Watervliet, Watervliet Arsenal and the Green Island Fire Department began to respond to the 2516 6th Avenue off of 25th Street and the dead end.

The first arriving engine from the city of Watervliet immediately transmitted the Signal 30 and the second-alarm as they had heavy fire showing from the second floor windows of a two-story wood-frame structure with fire extension into a second building due to exposure issues. Immediately, the city of Cohoes and City of Troy Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene for additional manpower. The dispatcher at the Rensselaer County Emergency Communication Center notified the battalion chief that the fire was located in the city of Watervliet, and the battalion chief began to respond over there on the second-alarm assignment along with Truck 2 out of central station, Engine 4 out of North Central and Engine 6 out of the south end of the City of Troy. At the same time Engine 1, the rescue squad and Medic 1 responded to an auto vs. pedestrian incident between 104th and 105th Street on 5th Avenue in the City of Troy.

Firefighters immediately deployed multiple hand lines into the structure and made their way to the second floor. Crews began to conduct a primary search of the building to make sure that everybody had made it out safely. Firefighters began laying in the supply line to feed the scene with water while other firefighters on the exterior portion of the structure began using an additional hand line to knock down the fire condition that was spreading to the 'Delta' side exposure building. As firefighters made their way upstairs into the apartment with the hand-line heavy fire began to push throughout the upstairs front area of the home. Firefighters called for water and began to make an aggressive interior attack.

As firefighters inside the structure were making an aggressive interior attack, additional resources began to arrive on scene from their mutual aid companies. Firefighters inside the structure making an aggressive push towards the main fire room hit the front window, sending glass flying out towards the roadway and showering all of the firefighters out in front of the building. One firefighter was struck in the head with the glass, causing a minor laceration, but brushed it off and continued to charge multiple hand lines and connect to the truck company with a feeder line to keep firefighters in the fight. Water streams blew through the windows of the house, striking the neighbor's house across the street and up through the roof of the building. Firefighters from the truck company made their way to the roof and began to conduct vertical ventilation.

Firefighters quickly began to bring the incident under control. The heavy fire condition quickly turned to white steam and firefighters on the roof notified command that they had a significant amount of steam coming from the vent hole with possible extension into another part of the roof. Firefighters began to conduct extensive overhaul on the second floor portion of the main fire building. Firefighters inside the secondary structure made sure that there had been no extension inside of the walls.

The fire was quickly brought under control in less than 20 minutes. All of the occupants of the homes were able to make it out safely. The only injury on the fire scene was a minor laceration from the flying glass, and the firefighter refused any medical treatment. The Watervliet Police Department is working to determine the cause of the fire.

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