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House Fire in Village of Valley Falls Sends Homeowner to Hospital with Severe Burns

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July 17, 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.

VALLEY FALLS, NY - On July 17th at 3:35 A.M., the Hoosic Valley Fire Department along with mutual aid from Johnsonville Fire Department, Speigletown Fire Department, Schaghticoke Fire Department, Buskirk Fire Department, Pittstown Fire Department, Melrose Fire Department, Raymertown Fire Department, Hoosick Valley Ambulance and Pittstown Ambulance, was dispatched to the area of 1 Emily Street for a reported structure fire. The caller reported that the neighbor's porch was on fire.

As multiple chiefs called en route to the scene, Melrose Car 3 notified the dispatcher that they had a heavy glow and smoke in the sky over the village of Valley Falls. The chief acknowledged the transmission and Hoosic Valley Car 1 arrived on scene along with the Rensselaer County Bureau of Public Safety Director to a well-involved house fire with heavy fire on the first and second floors. Command immediately requested the second-alarm to be transmitted along with the Signal 30 and notified the dispatcher that he had a burn victim on scene that needed to be transported to the hospital immediately.

Within a few minutes, the first piece of apparatus arrived on scene and began to knock down the heavy fire condition in the front of the structure. Command notified the dispatcher that they were going to need additional resources on scene, as they were going to need to set up a tanker relay. Firefighters on scene made entry to the structure and conducted a quick primary search to make sure that everybody was out. Firefighters on scene set up a drop tank in the middle of the roadway and had incoming fire apparatus drop their water on scene in order to keep a steady water supply. Additional resources quickly began to arrive and firefighters started to ladder the building and deploy additional hand lines.

As firefighters were working, the heavy fire on the second-floor made its way into the roof area. Firefighters deployed ground ladders in the rear of the structure to a window nearby that had heavy fire in a second-floor bedroom. While firefighters were working in the front of the structure, additional firefighters began to hit the heavy fire condition in the window from the back deck area. Firefighters bounced the water off the ceiling and knocked down some of the heavy fire condition on the second-floor.

Additional resources from the engine companies arriving on scene quickly raced over to assist. Firefighters grabbed the hand line, made their way up into the window and into the second-floor area and began to make an aggressive interior attack. Additional resources in the front of the building began to bring the heavy fire condition under control. Firefighters made their way up to the second-floor windows of the structure on the 'Delta' side of the building, but could not enter the structure as there was severe structural collapse. Firefighters utilized the hand line in the front of the building, also hitting the remaining hot spots. Heavy steam pushed from the home as firefighters continued to make sure they did not have any remaining fire.

Within 30 minutes, with over 40 firefighters on scene, the incident was brought under control. Firefighters continued to hit remaining hot spots for an extended period of time. Fire Investigators arrived on scene and began to conduct their investigation into the fire. The homeowner that suffered burns to his hands was transported to Albany Medical Center. No firefighters were injured while battling the fire. The home was a total loss.

One resident in the village that wanted to remain anonymous talked to Sidewinder Photography and stated that they were absolutely astonished by the significant showing of firefighters from other communities that did not hesitate to get out of bed to help out their small village. The resident stated that they were very grateful for the help to their community.

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