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Troy Firefighter Plunges Through the Roof in Hillview Heights Neighborhood Fire

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April 29, 2023 | NEW YORK JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

TROY, NY - On April 29th at 9:40 A.M., the Rensselaer County Emergency Communication Center began to receive calls for a reported structure fire at 1047 Madison Avenue in the Hillview Heights neighborhood area. 

Engines 3, 6 and 2, along with Trucks 2 and 1, the rescue squad, Medic 4, and the battalion chief were dispatched to the scene. The caller stated that there was smoke coming from the house. On arrival, Engine 3 had a single-story wood-frame structure with solar panels on the front of the residence and heavy smoke showing from the eaves of the structure.

Engine 3 immediately transmitted the Signal 30 for a working structure fire while firefighters deployed a one-and-three-quarter inch hand line to the front of the structure and began to search the house to ensure that all of the residents made it out safely. Firefighters made their way inside of the structure to the basement to check and see if they had a working basement fire, as they had smoke pushing from the eaves and the house was a balloon frame style structure. On further inspection they discovered a working attic fire.

Firefighters from Engine 6 arrived on scene and began to assist the driver of Engine 3 by connecting to the fire hydrant across the roadway. Additional firefighters also arrived on scene and began to ladder the building. Firefighters from Trucks 2 and 1 arrived on scene, made their way to the roof and notified all of the units operating on scene that they only had solar panels on the front portion of the structure and that they would be venting the roof in the rear. Firefighters inside the structure notified command that they could not find access to the attic area and needed an attic ladder. Firefighters deployed another hand line to the front door of the structure and had the pump operator charge it.

Firefighters inside of structure notified command that they had fire in the 'Bravo/Charlie' corner of the home in the attic area. As firefighters began cutting the roof, one firefighter fell through the roof and had fire come up around him. Other firefighters that were nearby quickly grabbed the downed firefighter and pulled him out of the hole.

As firefighters were working inside the building, the pump operator notified command that he just lost the fire hydrant and all water feeding the engine, as the ears on the hydrant blew off. The pump operator quickly sprang into action, shut down the fire hydrant and reconnected the ear on the hydrant to reestablish a water supply within two minutes. As crews were working inside the home firefighters began to pull the ceiling apart, gaining access to the heavy fire in the attic area. Firefighters knocked down the heavy fire condition and began to have crews on the exterior portion of the structure remove the siding where they had the heavy fire condition.

Firefighters notified command that they had all of the fire knocked down and were conducting extensive overhaul. The firefighters on scene were able to bring the incident under control in less than 15 minutes. While conducting overhaul one firefighter was injured and transported to the hospital. All of the occupants, including the pets in the home, made it out safely. The fire was ruled non-suspicious.

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