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Lightning Strike Causes House Fire in Coxsackie at the Start of a Parade

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

COXSACKIE, NY - Strong thunderstorms caused a structure fire at a home in the Sleepy Hollow community, just as a parade in Coxsackie was stepping off earlier in September. 

The 135th Greene County Volunteer Firemen’s Association Mardi Gras Parade was just stepping off at 6:00 P.M., September 8th, at this year’s host department in Coxsackie. Just after the parade began, fire crews were dispatched to 60 Derrick Von Brummel Cir at 6:15 P.M. for a reported structure fire. 

“We were leading the parade and were passing our station just as the call was dispatched,” said Assistant Chief Stephen Salluce, Jr. of Coxsackie Fire. “Smoke was visible from the village.” 

The call was dispatched with possible entrapment, as the caller was unsure if anyone was still inside the home or not. Chief Salluce stated the dispatchers advised him all occupants were reported to be out of the structure. 

“When I arrived on scene, the sergeant from the sheriff’s office confirmed that everyone was out of the structure,” he said. 

Heavy smoke and fire was observed on the second-floor on the right side rear of the structure. 

The first arriving truck stretched a handline to the right side of the structure to begin putting water on the fire, while a second handline was stretched to the front door for crews to make entry inside. 

Interior crews had to regularly swap out due to the high humidity from the severe storms that rolled through that day. 

Agencies on scene and on standby included Coxsackie, Athens, Hudson, Earlton, Medway-Grapeville, New Baltimore, Greenville and West Athens fire departments. Also assisting were Coxsackie Ambulance, Greene County Paramedics, Greene County Sheriff’s, New York State Police and Greene County Fire Investigation Team. 

The fire was knocked down in less than one hour. The cause of the fire was determined to be from a lightning strike from the severe storms that struck the area. The fire was then fed by propane tanks in the rear of the home. 

Chief Salluce stated the two occupants who lived in the home made it out safely. There were no reports of any pets inside the structure. There were no injuries reported on scene. 

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THOMAS MARRA Correspondent

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