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Heavy Fire Blows Out the Front of Plum Ave. Structure in Troy

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

TROY, NY - On March 24th at 8:33 A.M., the city of Troy's Fire Department responded to 25 Plum Avenue on the east side of the City of Troy for multiple calls reporting a fire with heavy smoke pushing from a vacant structure. 

With city streets still covered in large amounts of debris, multiple power lines down, and heavy ice on houses, power lines and the roadways from an ice storm the day before, firefighters made their way to the scene. Engines 3, 6, 4 and 2, Trucks 1 and 2, the rescue squad, Medic 4, and the battalion chief responded to the scene.

As Engine 3 was pulling up, they had a large column of smoke visible in the early morning sky. Engine 3 arrived on scene, pulled past the house and notified the dispatcher that they had heavy fire showing from the front of the house, and immediately declared the Signal 30. Responding units came in off of Spring Avenue, as the hill for Plum Avenue had not been cleared by city plows, but was cleared by a resident that lived on that street with their plow.

Engine 3's crew began deploying a hand line off of their rig and stretched it to the front door of the structure. The driver of Engine 3 deployed a large diameter hose to the nearby hydrant and connected to the water supply. Truck 2 powered up the hill behind Engine 3 and firefighters began to deploy ladders to the 'Bravo' side of the structure to make their way to the roof. Command had a two-story wood-frame structure with heavy fire showing from the first-floor and heavy smoke pushing from the cockloft. With conditions inside of the structure not favorable, command transmitted the second-alarm, and as he was doing so, firefighters notified him that they had a large hole in the floor on the second-floor and to use caution. The second-alarm brought to the scene the City of Watervliet and Watervliet Arsenal Fire Department with manpower. Additional firefighters began to deploy multiple hand lines into the structure to the second-floor and onto the first-floor.

As firefighters were climbing the ladder to the roof, they were carrying a chainsaw and a snow shovel, as the heavy snow on the roof would prevent them from gaining easy access to the roof area for venting. Firefighters conducted a primary search of the building and quickly made sure that there was no one inside. As firefighters were working on scene, they had a significant fire condition in the cockloft area and running the front wall of the structure. As crews were working on the second-floor, firefighters in the rear of the structure notified command that they had a significant fire condition pushing from the rear of the building and were continuing to go to work knocking down the heavy fire condition.

At that time, firefighters began to come outside and change out their bottles. Firefighters on the second-floor broke out the front windows of the structure and climbed out onto the roof and utilized an ax, Halligan bar, and a New York cook to pull apart the front of the structure to gain access to the area where the fire was running the wall. Mutual Aid departments began to arrive near the scene, as they could not make it up the roadway due to the conditions.

Exhausted firefighters made their way outside of the structure and changed out their final air bottles that they had on their apparatus and got a drink of water. As firefighters were working on the roof of the structure, crews notified command that they still had a heavy fire condition pushing up from the vent holes below. Firefighters deployed another hand line to the second-floor of the structure and made an aggressive push to knock down the heavy fire in the cockloft area. Firefighters in the front of the structure continued to pull away large portions of the building, and firefighters inside of the building began to toss out mattresses and other household items. Firefighters climbed up inside of the cockloft area and began to break apart large portions of the roof area that was severely compromised while firefighters deployed a hand line up into that area and began to knock down all of the remaining hotspots above them. Firefighters on the roof notified command that all of the fire in the attic area had been knocked down and was under control.

Firefighters on the first-floor of the building continued to conduct extensive overhaul of the severely damaged home as they chased numerous hotspots throughout the first-floor area and on the front porch area. Firefighters on the second-floor ran out of air in the air bottles and began to work on scene utilizing heavy ventilation from the building. Firefighters continued to overhaul the fire building for an extended period of time.

Crews remained on scene for a few hours while investigators worked to determine the cause of the fire, as the street did not have any power. Troy firefighters on scene faced multiple problems from the storm, freezing cold temperatures, and exhaustion from running a ton of calls that day. No firefighters sustained any injuries battling the fire, and firefighters went back into service later in the afternoon. The home was completely destroyed. The fire is under investigation at this time.

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