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Second-Alarm Fire Involves Multiple Buildings on 5th Ave. in Troy

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May 03, 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.

TROY, NY - On May 3rd at 1:48 A.M., the Rensselaer County Emergency Communication Center dropped the long tone for the City of Troy’s Fire Department to respond to 240 5th Avenue after a caller stated that the curtains inside of their residence were on fire. Engines 1, 4 and 2, along with Trucks 1 and 2, Medic 4, the rescue squad, and the battalion chief were dispatched to the scene.

The first arriving Troy police unit on scene immediately sprung into action and notified the dispatcher that they had a significant fire condition and began to evacuate the residence. While en route, firefighters had a significant column of smoke showing from a distance with a heavy glow of fire pushing from the rear of the residence. Engine 1 arrived on scene and had a heavy fire condition in the main fire building with multiple exposure issues and transmitted the Signal 30 for a working structure fire. The battalion chief then transmitted the second-alarm, bringing the City of Cohoes, City of Albany, and the Watervliet Arsenal to the scene.

Firefighters immediately began to deploy multiple hand lines from Engine 1 to the main fire building while additional firefighters deployed hand lines into the secondary building that had caught fire due to the heavy fire condition pushing from the second floor on the 'Delta' side of the structure. Thick, black, turbulent smoke began to push from the second floor and attic area of the primary fire building and heavy fire pushed over the roof top of the house in the rear of the structure, lighting up the street. Neighbors from as far as five blocks away could clearly see the fire in the night sky.

Crews pushed their way further inside the main fire building where thick black smoke banked down to the floor of the structure along with high temperatures and a heavy fire condition blowing out the back of the building. Troy firefighters made an aggressive push to make it to the rear of the structure where the heavy fire was while additional firefighters conducted a primary search of the building, which was confirmed clear of all occupants. Firefighters made their way down the side alleyway with additional hand lines, kicked down a fence, and began to knock down the heavy fire in the rear of the building. Crews in the 'Delta' exposure building of 238 5th Ave. had a fire condition inside the second floor and attic area due to the heavy fire condition impinging upon that structure from the main fire building.

A captain in the rear of the building who was monitoring the fire conditions notified command that conditions were rapidly changing in the rear of the structure as thick, heavy black turbulent smoke in the front of the building began to get small amounts of fire running the smoke. Crews continued to work, frequently coming out of the structure to change out air bottles before going right back to work. As firefighters worked in the front of the structure, the truck company's crew noticed that the the conditions were changing in the front of the structure and that they needed to get above the thick heavy smoke, as it was about to flash. Command notified the dispatcher that they now had a third house involved as the fire had jumped to the house on the north side of the structure, which was 242 5th Avenue.

Additional firefighters pulled several hand lines from Engine 1 and deployed them into the third fire building to attempt to knock down the fire condition that had spread to the building while police officers assisted residents from all of the fire buildings.

As crews were working on the second floor, a firefighter made their way up the ladder and horizontally vented the front of the structure, allowing for the thick, heavy smoke condition to vent out the front windows. Firefighters then made their way to the roof of the structure and began to vent the roof. After a hole was cut in the roof, violent thick heavy black and brown smoke and heat began to push from the vent hole.

As crews made their way back to the bucket of Truck 1 and the Watervliet Arsenal's truck company began to set up on scene, the front attic vent that had been pushing thick heavy black smoke ignited, sending fire 30-feet into the air. Firefighters on the second floor of the main fire building continued to make an aggressive push as the heavy fire rolled above their heads. Additional firefighters from the mutual aid companies made their way inside the structure and assisted with pulling ceiling so that firefighters could gain access to the heavy fire condition in the cockloft.

The city of Troy's fire chief arrived on scene, took command of the incident and quickly began to assess the scene while firefighters inside the structure began making significant progress. Crews established another water supply from a block away to the two truck companies operating on scene. Firefighters in the buckets of the truck company used master streams and began to knock down all remaining hotspots in the roof of the structure.

After the incident was brought under control, firefighters conducted a secondary search of the structure and discovered some of the resident's pets, which were quickly reunited with their owners. Unfortunately, some of the pets that were found inside the structure did not survive.

Firefighters continued conducting extensive amounts of overhaul on scene until the early hours of the morning. The fire is under investigation at this time, and no firefighters were injured on scene.

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