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Two-Alarm Fire Rips Through Two Buildings in Albany

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | May 08, 2020 | NEW YORK

Story No. 052920106

Albany, NY - On May 8th at 10:58 P.M., the city of Albany‘s fire dispatcher transmitted the alarm of fire for 7 Mohawk Avenue. The caller stated that the rear porch and the back of the house was on fire.

Engines 1, 2 and 5, along with Rescue 2, Truck 2, Ladder 1, the Rescue Squad, Mohawk Ambulance, and Battalions 1 and 2 responded to the scene. Police officers from the city of Albany PD arrived on scene and noticed the back of the building was heavily involved and began to evacuate people from two nearby houses. Engine 2 arrived on scene and had a two-story balloon frame house with heavy fire showing in the rear of the building and fire beginning to extend into the neighboring structure. Engine 2 transmitted the Signal 30 for a working fire.

Firefighters pulled around the opposite side of the street and connected to the nearby fire hydrant in the rear of the gentleman's club. Crews in the front of the structure pulled a hand line into the building as firefighters in the rear of the structure knocked down the fence and stretched a two-and-a-half inch hand line and began to knock down the heavily involved rear portion of the house.

Firefighters that made entry into the structure conducted a quick primary search of the home and made sure that everyone was out safely. As firefighters extended the hose line up to the second floor they were met with heavy smoke and heat that was pushing down on them. As they pushed their way into the second floor, they learned that the fire that started in the rear of the building had spread to the rest of the house. Firefighters had a heavy smoke condition pushing from the roof of the main fire building, as well as 5 Mohawk Avenue.

As crews worked below to attempt to knock down the fire that was rapidly spreading throughout the two structures, Truck 2's firefighters went to the roof and began to vent the main fire building. Several different roof peaks and numerous extra layers of shingles made it difficult to vent the roof. When firefighters from Truck 2 popped the roof hatch, a large amount of black and brown thick smoke and heat pushed out of the vent hole, indicating heavy fire below them in the cockloft.

Firefighters in the rear of the structure gained entry into the basement and knocked down the fire, but had heavy fire traveling throughout the first floor. As crews were working in the main fire building the secondary building began to chug heavy brown and black smoke from the eaves and vents on the roof of the building. Command requested all firefighters in that structure to evacuate the building and regroup out in front.

As firefighters regrouped in front of the building and changed out their air bottles the heavy black and brown smoke quickly turned to fire pushing from the roof of the building and out into the second floor of the house. Firefighters immediately went into defensive operations with multiple two-and-a-half inch hand lines and master streams and began to get a handle on the fire.

After about one hour firefighters re-entered the two fire buildings and began to conduct extensive overhaul. Fire Investigators arrived on scene and began to conduct their investigation into the cause of the fire. No firefighters were injured on scene. The fire is currently under investigation.

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