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Homeowners Escape Overnight Fire in Coeymans

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

COEYMANS, NY - Two homeowners escaped an overnight structure fire in Coeymans on Saturday, March 25th. The Coeymans Fire Department was dispatched for a reported structure fire at 69 Westerlo St. around 1:30 A.M. 

Chief Mark Deyo of Coeymans Fire, who lives nearby, could see the glow in the night sky and immediately declared a Signal 30 working structure fire and started mutual aid fire departments to the scene.

“You could definitely tell that it was a confirmed fire and I wanted to get things in motion a few seconds faster than waiting until I got there,” Deyo said.

The fire was in a rear addition of the home and was in close proximity to the garage, which also caught on fire. He says two people lived in the old Victorian home and were lucky to wake up to the fire.

Deyo says the couple was asleep in their bedroom, which is also in the rear of the house on the opposite side, and they were not aware of what was going on. He says a propane tank relief went off and woke up a neighbor, who then called in the fire. The homeowners were then able to wake up and evacuate from the home.

“There was a smoke detector downstairs; we didn’t find a battery in the smoke detector upstairs,” Deyo said. “There was a lot of luck as far as them getting to a point where they could get out.”

He says the fire did eventually start to spread towards the stairwell that they escaped down. First arriving crews pulled a line to the rear of the home to begin knocking that fire down before additional crews arrived to begin an interior attack.

Deyo says the intense heat from the flames melted the siding on the house next door, which happens to be a commissioner with Coeymans Fire.

“One of my more experienced guys got in about ten feet and said it was way too hot,” Deyo said.

Crews pulled back and set a positive pressure fan at the front door before crews made entry again.

Ravena, New Baltimore, and Selkirk fire departments responded mutual aid to the scene with assistance from Bethlehem FAST Team, Medway-Grapeville Fire for rehab, Ravena Rescue, Albany County Paramedics, Albany County Sheriff’s and Coeymans Police.

Deyo says one firefighter was evaluated at the scene for possible heat exhaustion, but did not require transport. The two homeowners were both transported to the hospital for injuries sustained while evacuating the home. 

Deyo says the one homeowner fell while evacuating, suffering injuries, and the other tried to go back inside to rescue their dog and was transported for smoke inhalation. He says the main structure of the home was saved with the quick containment of the fire and the homeowners plan on rebuilding the addition. 

“It’s been a wake up call for everyone here,” Deyo said. “I know we’ve been on the bandwagon about smoke detectors and making sure your batteries are in.”

Without the propane tank going off outside, there were no other warning signs upstairs to alert them of a fire.

“It’s an expense, but it’s just one of those things,” he said. “Who knows if a few minutes later they’d get out.”

Deyo says one dog perished in the fire. He says the origin of the fire is believed to have started in the addition in the rear of the home, but the exact cause is still under investigation. 

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THOMAS MARRA Correspondent

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