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2nd Alarm Apartment Building Fire On Broadway Under Investigation

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

 On April 29, 2024, at 1:52 PM, the Schuyler Heights Fire Department, Menands Fire Department, Shaker Road Fire Department, Watervliet Arsenal Fire Department, Verdoy Fire Department, Boght Fire Department, and Colonie Emergency Medical Services was dispatched to 601 Broadway for multiple calls stating the house was on fire and people were running in and out of the house. As the Watervliet Arsenal Fire Department turn down 3rd Avenue they had a heavy smoke condition off in the distance. The Watervliet Arsenal‘s first due engine arrived on scene and immediately notified the dispatcher that they had a multi occupancy structure heavy smoking fire shown from the roof and declared the signal thirty for a working structure fire.

Firefighters immediately deployed a inch and three-quarter hand line to the front door of the structure and made their way to the second floor and began to conduct a primary search to make sure everybody was out of the structure. As firefighters were working heavy smoke began to push from all portions of the roof filling the afternoon sky with a heavy column of smoke visible for miles. As firefighters were attempting to make an aggressive knockdown of the heavy fire condition in the attic area firefighters began to pull the ceiling area of the building where they had trouble gaining access to the heavy fire above. Additional companies began to arrive on scene and quickly masked up as they had a heavy smoke condition starting to bank down on the second floor. Firefighters made their way inside of the structure as crews from the outside area began to hit the fire with a hand line. Additional units arriving on scene grabbed a additional water supply from further down on Broadway and command had the Watervliet police department shut down the roadway at Broadway and Third Avenue.

Firefighters from two additional truck companies arrived on scene and along with the rescue company from Shaker Road and firefighters made their way to the second floor with hooks and began to pull the ceilings inside of the structure. Truck six and truck for set up in front of the structure and firefighters began to deploy the ladder to the roof area. As firefighters were working inside of the structure heavy fire began to push from the eaves of the building. Firefighters inside of the building continued to struggle to gain access to the attic due to the conditions inside of the building. Command notified firefighters inside of the structure that they had heavy turbulence smoke pushing from the third-floor windows and within seconds command notified them that they now had heavy fire blowing out the third-floor windows. Firefighters inside of the structure notified command that they were putting water into the attic through a small hole, and they were finally able to get into the ceiling area.

Firefighters continued to work to gain access to the attic area and command also notified the crews inside of the building that they now had fire pushing from the eaves on both sides of the structure. Command requested the West Albany Fire Department to the scene and the dispatcher notified command that they had two additional water flow alarms coming from buildings nearby the fire scene and command notified the dispatcher that they are not a priority, and they are from the hydrants being used. Additional water flow alarms from other local businesses began to come in and the Maplewood Fire Department was dispatched to handle those calls. Conditions inside of the structure continued to worsen and command made the decision to pull all firefighters from the building as they had heavy fire blowing out the rear of the building. As firefighters pulled out of the building and made their way to the front of the structure, exhausted firefighters began to grab water and hydrate and change out their bottles.

Firefighters in the buckets opened up their master streams and began to knock down the heavy fire condition. As firefighters were resting on the outside of the structure one firefighter had a medical issue and was transported to the hospital. As the truck companies continued to utilize their master streams in knocking down the heavy fire condition, command had the truck companies shut down and firefighters made their way back inside. As firefighters made their way back to the second floor and conditions were better, they were able to discover they had multiple ceilings above their heads along with plywood That had been placed on the ceilings above the sheet rock. Interior operations requested chainsaws to be brought to the second floor along with an additional hand line. As firefighters begin to cut the ceiling open and access to the remaining fire area one of the truck companies accidentally opened up their master stream on a hotspot and soaked the crews below causing no injuries.


Firefighters continued to conduct extensive overhaul of the destroyed home for an extended period of time. Multiple fire departments continue to handle the multiple fire alarm and water flow activations on Broadway and off of the side streets. Fire investigators worked on scene to determine the cause of the fire. The one firefighter that was transported to the hospital was released later in the afternoon. No civilian injuries had occurred the fire is under active investigation at this time and no determination to the cause of the fire has been made. Firefighters went back into service later in the afternoon.

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