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Albany Firefighters Rescue One Person from Two-Alarm Structure Fire

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May 08, 2022 | 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.

ALBANY, NY - On May 8th at 7:38 A.M., the city of Albany's Fire Department was dispatched to 489 Hudson Avenue for multiple calls reporting a fully involved structure fire with possible entrapment inside the building. Engines 7, 1, 10 and 11, along with Rescue 2, the rescue squad, Ladder 3, Truck 2, any available ambulance, and the battalion chief headed to the scene.

As firefighters pulled out of the station and turned onto Ontario Street, they had a heavy column of black smoke visible from over 10 blocks away. The first arriving rescue company on scene immediately transmitted the Signal 30 for a working structure fire with multiple exposure issues and two houses on fire. A second-alarm was transmitted shortly after.

The officer on the rescue company had a heavily involved two-story, multi-occupancy building with heavy fire pushing up the front, and multiple power lines in the front of the building with heavy fire impingement. Engine 7 arrived on scene and the fast thinking pump operator, knowing his fire hydrant was directly behind him, immediately hit the heavy fire condition in the front of the building with the deck gun. After knocking down a significant portion of the heavy fire condition, firefighters were able to make entry to the structure and begin a primary search.

As crews connected to the nearby fire hydrant, the power lines in the front of the building fell onto the cars below. The commanding officer immediately requested national grid to expedite to the scene.

As the rescue company made entry to the structure and began to conduct a primary search, they found the trapped occupant inside the building and transmitted an urgent message to command reporting that they were making their way out of the back of the house. EMS was requested to the front of the building by Engine 1 to treat the victim.

Crews deployed multiple hand lines into the building and made an aggressive push, driving back the heavy fire condition. With heavy fire banking down on the second floor, firefighters made their way up the stairwell, pushing the fire right out of the roof of the building. Hose streams blew out the front windows as firefighters continued to make an aggressive push to knock down the heavy fire condition. Crews then made their way into the secondary building that was well involved on the second floor and began to knock down the heavy fire condition.

Members of the truck company made their way to the roof and began to conduct ventilation on the primary and secondary fire buildings while additional firefighters quickly cooled down the 'Alpha' side of the exposure building, which only had siding damage but was beginning to catch fire. Firefighters notified command that all occupants in the other building had been safely removed.

As extensive overhaul was being conducted, crews saw that a significant portion of the roof from the fire building still had fire running it. Firefighters used a two-and-a-half inch hand line and began to knock down all the remaining fire. Firefighters in the secondary exposure building that had heavy fire on the second floor began to conduct overhaul of the porch, which had become weak due to the heavy fire condition. A NY hook was used to push the badly damaged porch onto the sidewalk below. As firefighters continued to pull the ceiling in the exposure building, they found additional fire running the cockloft and used a hand line to knock down the remaining fire.

The victim from the fire was transported to Albany Medical Center in stable condition. The City of Troy’s Fire Department and Watervliet Arsenal Fire Department responded as mutual aid to the City of Albany to assist with handling other calls while firefighters were operating on scene.

As firefighters conducted overhaul, they had a partial rear wall collapse on the 'D' exposure building. Crews remained on scene for a significant portion of the morning. Fire Investigators were requested to respond, and no firefighters were injured on scene.

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