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Two-Alarm Fire Destroys Three Buildings on 9th Street in Troy

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | April 27, 2021 | NEW YORK

Story No. 050421105

TROY, NY - On April 27th just before 8:38 P.M., the City of Troy Fire Department was dispatched for a reported structure fire at 377 9th Street, between Middleburg and Rensselaer Street. The dispatcher notified all responding units that they were receiving numerous calls on the fire.

As Engine 4 pulled out of the station and looked to the left, they saw two houses heavily involved in the rear of the structure and immediately transmitted the Signal 30 and a second-alarm. Engines 6, 1, 2, and 3, along with the Rescue Squad, Trucks 1 and 2, Medic 4, the Battalion Chief, the City of Watervliet FD, and Watervliet Arsenal's FD were dispatched to the scene.

Engine 4 arrived on scene and had multiple buildings heavily involved in the rear of the structure. Engine 4's crew pulled a hand line to the rear of the building and began to attempt to knock down the heavy fire. Trucks 2 and 1 came down 9th Street and the drivers quickly went to work setting up their aerial devices. Firefighters laid in from Middleburg Street to Engine 4 with large diameter hose. As firefighters charged the line to the scene to supply the engine company and the ladder companies, the pump operator notified command that they were receiving less than 25 pounds of pressure on the hydrant and were having significant water issues.

Command notified the dispatcher to start an immediate recall and bring the city of Cohoes, Village of Green Island, and the city of Albany into the scene for mutual aid. Command also brought in Empire Ambulance and the town of Colonie EMS to handle all medical calls, as the city of Troy had all 24 on duty firefighters on scene for the multiple-alarm fire.

Command notified the dispatcher that they had three buildings heavily involved, two of which were vacant. The third one was occupied, but everyone was accounted for. Firefighters laid into the scene another supply line from a nearby fire hydrant and encountered the same problem of significant water pressure issues. As the heavy fire continued to spread throughout the buildings, firefighters on scene were unable to flow any water on the fire for a short period of time. As firefighters from Engine 2 arrived on scene they were able to connect into a large water main on 8th Street, over 1,000-feet away from the scene, and began to hand-lay LDH in to the scene.

As firefighters worked on scene to take care of the water issue, heavy fire continued to push through the back of the main fire building and out all the windows on the 'Bravo' side of the structure. The exposure building on the 'Delta' side of the structure had heavy fire blow through the roof of the building. Fire was shooting over 60-feet high into the night sky, and was visible to residents from as far away as Latham and the Village of Menands.

Firefighters began to coordinate a significant defensive operation on all three of the fire buildings. Engine 4 notified command that they now had significant water pressure thanks to Engine 2 and firefighters opened up numerous hand lines, blitz fires, and master streams from the truck companies on to all three of the buildings. As crews were working to knock down the heavy fire, the primary fire building, without any warning, pancake collapsed and sent debris out towards a firefighter that was putting water into the front windows of the house. As firefighters were working the 'Delta' exposure, the building's roof collapsed inward due to the heavy fire load below. Command immediately requested a par check. Firefighters in the rear of the building continued to put water on the fire.

State Police aviation provided scene lighting from above with their spot light as firefighters worked on scene. Command also requested the water department to be dispatched to the scene, as they were having significant water problems still. As firefighters began to bring the fire under control after fighting it for over three hours, thick smoke filled the streets and all of the surrounding neighborhoods.

As firefighters continued to flow water into the fire buildings, the roof on the last structure gave way and collapsed inward into the structure. Firefighters continue to flow water from the two truck companies on scene until the early hours of the morning.

Firefighters on scene were able to successfully determine everyone was accounted for from the structures. Crews made entry to the two structures on the side of the primary fire building and began to conduct overhaul.

No injuries were reported. All three buildings on 9th Street were deemed a total loss. This is the second major fire for the city of Troy in less than three days. City of Troy fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. Firefighters remained on scene until the early hours of the morning conducting overhaul.

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