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Firefighters Rescue Dog from Raging House Fire in Hillcrest

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July 19, 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.

HILLCREST, NY - On July 19th at 5:21 P.M., The Hillcrest Fire Department along with mutual aid from the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire Department, Mechanicville Fire Department, Round Lake Fire Department, Clifton Park Fire Department, Arvin Hart Fire Department, Jonesville Fire Department and Clifton Park Emergency Medical Services, was dispatched to 49 Tabor Road for multiple calls for a reported structure fire with heavy fire coming from the house.

The Hillcrest Fire Department’s chief came on the air and notified the dispatcher that he had a heavy column of smoke showing as he was en route to the scene and requested the dispatcher to transmit the second-alarm, bringing additional resources to the scene. The first arriving chief on scene had a one-and-a-half story wood-frame structure with heavy fire showing in 1/3 of the structure with a victim from the fire down in the front yard. Command was able to confirm one of the dogs was out of the structure and another dog was still inside. The first arriving engine on scene immediately took the driveway and dropped their large diameter hose at the end of the driveway for the next arriving engine to feed the scene. Command had Clifton Park Emergency Medical Services immediately begin to work on the patient from the house fire.

Firefighters deployed multiple hand lines to the front of the structure and to the garage area and quickly began to knock down the heavy fire condition while attempting to stop the heavy fire from spreading to the rest of the house. Additional resources from the Arvin Hart Fire Department quickly arrived on scene and crews made their way inside and began to search for anyone remaining in the structure. During the search firefighters were able to find "Penny" the golden retriever that was down inside of the house, and brought the dog outside and immediately began to work on her. Firefighters administered life-saving measures to the dog and were able to revive her. Firefighters deployed a handline inside of the front door of the structure and began to make an aggressive interior attack, driving a fire back out of the home and firefighters began to hit the fire in the attic area.

Firefighters on the next arriving engine immediately connected to the hydrant across the roadway and began to feed the scene with water. Command requested Tabor Road to be shut down. Command notified all units operating on the fire ground that he had ammunition going off inside the house and units inside of the house to use caution. Firefighters from the incoming truck company deployed their large diameter hose down the roadway to secure another hydrant in case it was needed. Clifton Park EMS quickly packaged the patient and transported the individual to Albany Medical Center. Firefighters operating on the fire ground notified command that all of the heavy fire condition was knocked down and crews were beginning to hit hotspots. Firefighters working inside of the structure were told that there was another pet inside, a bearded dragon. Firefighters without hesitation began to search the residence and discovered the bearded dragon in its cage and brought it outside to the homeowner.

Firefighters continued to conduct aggressive overhaul for an extended period of time. Firefighters on scene switched out with crews inside of the building as temperatures were significantly warm that day. Firefighters were able to bring the entire incident under control in less than 25 minutes. The homeowner that was transported to the hospital was later listed in critical condition. Penny the golden retriever that was rescued from the house was revived and is doing well. The other dog and the bearded dragon were not injured. Fire Investigators from the Saratoga County fire investigation team arrived on scene and began to conduct their investigation into the fire. The home was severely damaged by the fire. Fire Investigators have not released the cause of the fire at this time.

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