Main Content


Firefighters Face Collyer's Mansion Conditions at Two-Alarm Fire in Halfmoon

avatar image
April 23, 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.

HALFMOON, NY - On April 23rd at 2:45 P.M., the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire Department and Boght Community Fire Company, along with the Waterford Rescue Squad, were dispatched to 220 Middletown Road for a reported structure fire. The caller reported that the house was on fire.

As multiple fire chiefs from the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire Department were pulling out of their fire station, and firefighters were getting on their truck company and engine companies from their Recruit NY event, Northside Fire Department's chief that was passing through the area at the time stopped at the residence and immediately notified the dispatcher that he had a working structure fire with heavy smoke pushing from the eaves and a car in the driveway with possible entrapment. Car 32 arrived on the scene and immediately transmitted the second-alarm, bringing the Northside Fire Department, West Crescent Fire Department, Waterford Fire Department, and the Saratoga County Fire Investigation team to the scene.

As the chief was pulling into the driveway, he also notified the dispatcher that he needed the Village of Waterford Police Department to the scene to shut down the roadway, as there was no visibility due to the heavy smoke condition that had blanketed the roadway. The truck company took the front of the building, and the next due engine company connected to the fire hydrant across the street from the main fire building. Firefighters deployed multiple hand lines to the front door of the structure.

As firefighters forced entry to the structure, they encountered a thick, heavy smoke condition with significant amounts of heat pushing down on them from the front door. Crews were able to grab a glimpse of the inside of the structure and immediately notified command that they had Collyer's Mansion conditions inside. Command advised all units to use caution inside of the building. (Collyer's Mansion conditions refer to a situation where a building is severely cluttered with possessions or debris, which can make it difficult and dangerous for firefighters to move around and fight a fire.)

Firefighters made an aggressive push into the home and made their way towards the seat of the fire. Another crew of firefighters began to conduct a search of the residence for anyone inside. As firefighters made their way to the seat of the fire, they called for water. Firefighters inside of the building requested horizontal ventilation of the front windows and vertical ventilation from the roof to release some of the toxic smoke and super-heated gases. Firefighters tossed a ladder to the roof, and a crew with a vent saw began to vent. As soon as the vent hole was cut, firefighters broke out the front windows on the structure, releasing the super-heated gas from the home, and firefighters made an aggressive knock down of the fire condition.

As firefighters began to conduct overhaul, they discovered a dog inside of the residence. Once outside they began performing CPR and administering oxygen to attempt to revive the dog, but unfortunately, despite their valiant efforts, the dog did not make it. Inside of the residence, there were several other animals that also did not survive.

Firefighters inside of the home conducted extensive overhaul for an extended period of time. Firefighters utilized multiple ventilation fans in the front of the structure to vent the home of all the smoke. Fire Investigators arrived on the scene and began to conduct their investigation into the fire. No firefighters sustained any injuries during the fire. The home suffered severe water, smoke, and fire damage. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.

avatar image

No information from the author.