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Abandoned House Fire in Stephentown Under Investigation

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | April 04, 2022 | NEW YORK

Story No. 050222107

STEPHENTOWN, NY - On April 4th at 7:42 P.M., the Stephentown Fire Department along with Stephentown ambulance were dispatched to the house next to 345 West Road for a reported structure fire, with multiple callers reporting an abandoned house on fire.

Stephentown Car 4 arrived on scene and immediately transmitted the Signal 30 for heavy fire conditions throughout a large abandoned structure. Command requested the Berlin FD to be dispatched to the scene with their tankers and manpower. Stephentown Cars 1 and 2 arrived on scene and established command as heavy fire was blowing from every window and doorway in the structure. Command requested the first-alarm to be retransmitted, and to have the Lebanon Valley FD dispatched to the scene with manpower, an engine and a tanker, while the Hancock FD from Massachusetts was placed on standby in Stephentown FD's station. Command also notified the dispatcher that an individual was walking down the roadway, away from the scene, and to notify police.

The first arriving tanker on scene had their firefighters deploy a hand line to the front of the structure and begin to attempt to knock down the heavy fire condition. As firefighters were hitting the building with water the roof of the structure collapsed into the building, sending embers flying into the clear night sky. Additional resources began to arrive on scene about 15 minutes into the incident. Firefighters from the Berlin FD established a water supply over 700-feet away from the scene from a small creek. Firefighters laid in a four-inch supply line to the scene and began to feed the tankers and engines while firefighters deployed another hand line to the rear portion of the building.

Due to water supply issues and a very heavy fire load, crews had a difficult time extinguishing the fire. Engines on scene set up master streams and began to pound the building with water while fire investigators arrived and began to walk around the fire scene.

Approximately one hour into the incident with around 20 firefighters now on scene, crews began to get control of the fire. Firefighters continued to conduct hot spot suppression for a few hours. National Grid arrived on scene and secured a downed power line that was in the roadway that had been attached to the vacant structure.

Two individuals from the Stephentown community, Grant and Tammy Madden, brought firefighters coffee and hot chocolate, and one of the captains from the Stephentown FD that owns Lakota BBQ also had food brought to the scene to feed the exhausted firefighters. Fire investigators remained on scene for a significant portion of the evening into the early morning hours conducting their investigation and collecting evidence on scene.

Rensselaer County Fire Investigators are investigating the fire in the vacant structure at this time. No injuries have been reported.

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