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Troy Home Collapses, Sending Debris Into the Roadway

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

TROY, NY - On September 8th at 11:19 P.M., the city of Troy‘s fire department was dispatched to 289 4th Street for a building collapse. Engines 6, 4 and 3, along with the rescue squad, trucks 1 and 2, medic four, and the battalion chief responded to the scene. The caller reported that the entire building had collapsed into the roadway.

Engine six arrived on scene and notified the dispatcher that they had a full collapse of a home. Firefighters immediately began to make their way towards the rubble pile that poured out into the street and leaned against a nearby home. Firefighters on scene had a cantilever style collapse of 289 Fourth Street. A cantilever collapse is one of the most dangerous types of collapses that a fire department can operate at. After the structural collapse, the remaining portion of the structure is normally unsupported and hanging freely in the air. If there were victims trapped on the floors of the building, this could make rescues extremely difficult for firefighters. Debris can be left on the remains of the structure and slide off onto firefighters operating below.

The highly trained Troy Firefighters that were operating on scene knew they had to use extra caution while operating around the collapsed building. Firefighters immediately began to evacuate the homes surrounding the building collapse. The home had a red X on it that stated the rear of the building was unstable, and the sign had a date of June 1, 2019. 

Several cars near the collapse zone were covered in concrete dust from the collapsed home. Firefighters in the rear of the building notified command that the back of the building was still standing. Command arrived on scene and notified the dispatcher that this was going to be a Signal 30 for a working incident and requested code enforcement to the scene. Command also notified the dispatcher that they were going to need the Red Cross for the residents of the two neighboring homes that were affected by the building collapse, along with National Grid. Firefighters were able to safely remove the residents of the two homes at 291 Fourth Street and 287 Fourth Street. 

Firefighters utilized a thermal imaging camera to search through some of the void areas in the front of the structure to make sure that no one was trapped inside of the building. A large portion of the rear of the building that remained standing had small debris starting to fall. A witness that saw the building collapse reported hearing the windows bursting just before the entire building collapsed.

The mayor of the city of Troy, along with the council president, came out to the scene as this was a major incident in the city of Troy. Code enforcement arrived and began to conduct a investigation into the stability of the two surrounding structures with the fire chief. Firefighters on scene deployed a hand line for safety reasons in case the structure had a gas leak of any type. Firefighters learned that the utilities had been disconnected to that building a while ago.

Neighboring homes with security cameras captured the astonishing footage of the cantilever collapse. The Red Cross responded to the scene to take care of the neighbors in the nearby homes. One of those individuals was district 5 city council member Kiani. Command placed all but Truck 2 into service from the scene. Command notified the dispatcher that they were going to need to conduct an emergency tear-down of the remaining portions of the collapsed building, and code enforcement would be conducting the watch of the property.

No injuries were reported, and only one home on the 'bravo' side of the structure was also damaged. The City of Troy has numerous homes throughout the city that are deemed unsafe to enter and marked with a large red X that need to be torn down, but the average cost today for that is around $25,000 to $35,000, which is a major stress factor on the budget. 

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