Main Content


Second-Alarm Fire Destroys Vacant Building in Downtown Troy

avatar image
September 25, 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 September 25th at 10:40 P.M., a city of Troy zone one police officer returning to the station for shift change noticed a heavy smoke condition in the middle of Fourth Street, between State Street and Broadway. As the officer got out of his vehicle, he notified the dispatcher that he had a heavy smoke condition pushing from the structure and the officer immediately requested the dispatcher to notify the fire department of smoke coming from 83 4th Street.

As the alarm of fire was being transmitted, the rescue squad, along with Engines 2, 6 and 4, Trucks 1 and 2, Medic 4, and the battalion chief were heading to the scene. Multiple units began to arrive on scene and the battalion chief confirmed a smoke condition showing from a three-story brick structure with numerous exposure issues on both sides, and transmitted the Signal 30 and a second-alarm. The second-alarm brought in the City of Albany’s FD and the Watervliet Arsenal FD. Command had heavy smoke showing from the first floor of the building and firefighters immediately began to deploy multiple hand lines to the front of the structure.

Firefighters forced entry to both sides of the structure and made their way up the stairs to the second floor on the 'Delta' side of the structure where they encountered a thick, heavy smoke condition with a significant amount of heat on the second floor and a heavy smoke condition on the third floor. Firefighters on the 'Bravo' side of the structure forced entry into another section of the building that was attached and occupied by numerous residents who began to be evacuated.

As firefighters were searching for the seat of the fire, conditions began to rapidly change inside the structure and heavy smoke began to push from the front. Firefighters inside the structure began to conduct horizontal ventilation, sending glass showering down to the street below where hand lines were being stretched into the building, and a sharp piece of glass pierced one of the attack lines going into the building. Firefighters from Trucks 1 and 2 made their way to the roof of the building to conduct ventilation.

Firefighters inside the building notified command that they could not find the seat of the fire and command immediately designated Engine 4 as the RIT for the fire ground operation. Firefighters began to pull additional hand lines into the structure to search for the seat of the fire while crews from the mutual aid companies arrived on scene and began to assist firefighters inside the structure. Engine 2 was able to connect to the fire hydrant in front of the Loporto's Italian restaurant. Command notified the dispatcher that they had heavy smoke showing from all three floors of the structure and conditions were continuing to change.

As firefighters took out the store front windows conditions began to change and smoke from the front of the building began to darken. The truck company on the roof notified command that they had heavy smoke pushing from the skylights and roof hatches that were popped. Firefighters made their way into the adjacent buildings to make sure that the fire had not traveled into those buildings yet. Troy firefighters were facing an uphill battle as visibility conditions inside the structure were close to zero.

With thick heavy smoke pushing from the front of the structure and creating a tower of smoke pushing into the evening sky which was visible from across the river in the city of Watervliet, firefighters continued to make an aggressive push to find the seat of the fire. With heavy smoke pushing now from the back of the structure, firefighters in the rear of the building notified command of the changes. With the fire now getting enough oxygen, firefighters were able to locate the seat of the fire and they began to make an aggressive interior attack, knocking down the heavy fire condition. As firefighters continued to knock down the heavy fire condition and pull apart the walls the heavy smoke condition began to rapidly dissipate.

Firefighters inside the structure continued to conduct extensive overhaul of the fire building for an extended period of time. The fire is currently under investigation. The building sustained heavy damage on all floors and was boarded up after firefighters left the scene.

If it had not been for the observant officer heading back to the station, another 10 minutes of burn time could have resulted in a catastrophic fire in the downtown area where multiple buildings could have been lost.

avatar image

No information from the author.