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Crash Creates Unique Hazards for Firefighters in Front of Local Selkirk Drive-In

By THOMAS MARRA , Correspondent | October 02, 2021 | NEW YORK

Story No. 101721108

SELKIRK, NY - A car crash in Selkirk created a unique hazard for first responders and forced a local drive-in to close on a busy Saturday night.

Multiple 911 calls began flooding the Bethlehem Communications Center for a car that struck a pole with transformers on the ground and on fire next to the car in front of the Jericho Drive-in on Jericho Road around 2:15 P.M. on October 2nd.

Arriving units from Selkirk Fire stated that the driver was out of the vehicle, however, there was active fire on the ground. The car had struck and broke a utility pole, causing three transformers that power the drive-in to fall and catch fire in the brush on the side of the road. The front of the car was in the brush and against the fence to the property of the drive-in, preventing firefighters from being able to disconnect the battery from the car.

National Grid arrived on the scene and advised fire crews that it was safe to get closer and use a dry-chemical extinguisher on the transformer fire. As time went on the car began to produce smoke from under the hood that kept growing and growing.

With the front of the car against the fence with no safe way to disconnect the battery and a tow truck 20 minutes away, fire crews made the decision to pull the car from the ditch to get it up to the road before there was a vehicle fire added to the hazards.

Fire crews used the hitch on the back of a fire chief’s vehicle to tow the car away from the fence so they could disconnect the battery and prevent a fire. Jericho Road was closed from Route 9W to Elm Avenue East until tow crews removed the car. National Grid remained on the scene overnight to replace the pole and transformers.

Jericho Drive-in was forced to close the drive-in Saturday night as they were without power.

It is unclear the direction of travel or factors in the crash, as Bethlehem Police have not provided a statement as of this report, however, the driver did refuse medical attention at the scene.

The Selkirk Fire Department responded with Delmar-Bethlehem EMS, Albany County Paramedics and Bethlehem Police.

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