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Rabbit Rescued from Working House Fire in Port Schuyler

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October 08, 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.

COLONIE, NY - On October 8th, multiple calls for a reported structure fire began flowing into the Colonie Emergency Communications Center and Albany County Emergency Communications Center for 213 8th Avenue.

Due to the location of the fire, the City of Watervliet, Watervliet Arsenal, City of Cohoes, Green Island, Schuyler Heights and Menands Fire Departments, along with Colonie EMS were all dispatched at the same time, as the location was a borderline call.

As units began to call en route, heavy fire blew from the 'Bravo' side of the structure, sending a thick black column of smoke into the afternoon sky that was visible for miles. The chief of the Schuyler Heights Fire Department, who lived right down the street, immediately transmitted the Signal 30 for a working structure fire.

The city of Watervliet's engine and truck company quickly arrived on scene and declared a Signal 30 for a confirmed working structure fire, with heavy fire showing from the 'Bravo' side of the structure with extension into the roof. Firefighters immediately deployed multiple hand lines down the driveway and quickly began to knock down the heavy fire condition as additional crews made entry to the home and began to conduct a primary search for anybody inside of the structure.

As firefighters continued to work knocking down the heavy fire condition from the outside of the structure, heavy fire blew through the roof in the front of the building. Additional units began arriving on scene and assisted with conducting fire suppression. Cohoes FD firefighters made their way to the roof of the structure utilizing Truck 1 from the city of Watervliet to conduct vertical ventilation.

Before firefighters began to vent the roof, they utilized the master streams on the truck company and quickly knocked down the heavy fire condition in the front of the structure. As firefighters attempted to step off onto the roof they noticed that it was soft from the heavy fire load below. The bucket was then utilized to cut the roof and vent the super-heated toxic gases trapped on the second floor and in the attic area.

When firefighters inside the house were conducting a primary search, they discovered a rabbit and rescued it from the home while other firefighters began to pull the ceilings throughout the house where they discovered the fire had been traveling along the beams of the structure. As additional crews made their way inside the structure to the second floor and began to pull ceilings, they discovered that they still had a fire condition in the attic and quickly began to knock it down with a hand line. Firefighters set up a blitz fire on the side of the house and continued to cool the siding down.

As crews were conducting overhaul on the 'Bravo' side of the structure, one firefighter stepped into a burned-out area of the porch and fell through. Firefighters that were working nearby assisted the uninjured firefighter out of the hole.

Firefighters continued to conduct overhaul of the badly damaged structure for an extended period of time. During the secondary search of the home, they discovered a cat and an additional rabbit that did not survive.

The Town of Colonie's Fire Services arrived on scene and began to conduct their investigation into what caused the fire. No injuries were reported, and the fire is currently under investigation.

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