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Building Explosion Under Investigation in West Albany Fire District

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

COLONIE, NY - On April 4th at 3:18 A.M., calls poured into the Colonie Emergency Communication Center reporting a building explosion at 113 Everett Road, the Pad Thai Noodle. The callers reported that the building had exploded and that they could see fire coming from the building.

The West Albany FD, Shaker Road FD, Fuller Road FD, Menands FD, Colonie Village Fire Co. for the FAST and Colonie EMS were dispatched to the scene. Before the pagers could even go off, several members of the West Albany FD heard the explosion before the call was being dispatched, and those members knew they had a serious call on their hands.

The first arriving chief on scene had a single-story commercial building with a catastrophic explosion, with heavy fire pushing from the back of the building, the side of the building, and the front windows of the structure. Command transmitted the Signal 30 and notified all incoming units that it was going to be a defensive operation. Engine 454 and Truck 9 arrived on scene, and firefighters went to work deploying multiple hand lines to knock down the heavy fire condition. As heavy fire pushed out the front of the structure, firefighters quickly began to make headway in driving back the heavy fire condition. Command requested national grid to the scene to secure the gas and electric to the building.

Members of the Colonie Police Department evacuated occupants of a nearby building. Command conducted a walk-around of the structure and had catastrophic failure in the rear of the building and on the 'Bravo' side of the structure, along with a large portion of the roof blown upwards. Town of Colonie fire services and Colonie fire Car 1 arrived on scene and began to conduct an investigation into the incident.

As firefighters continued to utilize multiple hand lines and knock down the remaining fire on the 'Charlie' side of the structure, firefighters on the 'Delta' side sprayed water into the kitchen area where they had heavy smoke pushing from the building. The roadway in front of the scene not only was covered in apparatus for the incident, but a significant amount of bricks and pieces of glass could be found up to 100-feet from the scene. Firefighters on the exterior portion of the structure continued to monitor the scene and the condition of the remaining portion of the building that was standing. National grid arrived on scene and disconnected the power and gas to the building.

Firefighters in Truck 9 notified command that they had fire in the center of the building and the roof of the structure was completely compromised and structurally unsafe for firefighters to get onto. Firefighters continued to utilize hand lines from multiple sides of the structure in hitting all of the remaining fire. Command requested the dispatcher to notify all units operating on the fire ground to use caution while operating inside of the collapse zone.

As fire investigators walked around the scene, the inside of the structure was completely compromised and a large portion of the beams inside of the structure had shifted, along with one of the large steel beams on the side of the structure that had been displaced from the other portion of the structure. As the incident was being brought under control, command requested the town with an excavator due to how unsafe the structure was. Command started to release additional departments that were on scene and return them to service.

Investigators remained on scene until the late hours of the afternoon conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of the explosion. Later in the afternoon, the Town of Colonie tore down the restaurant. No injuries were reported from the explosion or to any firefighters working on scene. The house next door sustained minor damage from the explosion, and the roadway was cleaned up later in the day and reopened.

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