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One Person Badly Burned in Stephentown House Fire

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | November 26, 2021 | NEW YORK

Story No. 112921120

STEPHENTOWN, NY - On November 26th at 8:07 A.M., Stephentown Fire Department and Stephentown Ambulance were dispatched for a reported structure fire at 4835 South Stephentown Road. The caller reported the house to be fully involved with a large propane tank in the rear, and stated that everyone was out of the house.

As Stephentown Car 1 called en route to the scene, the dispatcher notified him that they had a burn victim on scene. Mutual aid was requested from the Tsatsawassa and Lebanon Valley Fire Departments to the scene with tankers. Stephentown Car 1 arrived on scene and immediately declared the Signal 30 for a working structure fire, as the house was fully involved with heavy fire impinging on the propane tank in the rear of the residence.

Command notified the ambulance that the burn victim was at the end of the driveway, and requested a mutual aid ambulance that could provide advanced life support for the badly burned homeowner. A request to intercept the Stephentown Ambulance was made and luckily accepted by an agency that can provide advanced life support.

The first arriving engine on scene made its way up the driveway and firefighters deployed a one-and-three-quarter inch hand line. Command requested the Nassau Fire Department to the scene with a tanker and additional manpower. The next arriving engine parked halfway up the driveway and established a three-inch supply line to the top of the hill for a water relay. Firefighters quickly ran out of water on top of the hill, but tankers that were arriving on scene immediately began to provide a water supply.

Crews were presented with a great challenge, as the house had only a small portion of the structure above ground and there was very limited manpower on scene. The remaining portion of the house was in the basement area and a large metal roof made it difficult for firefighters to get access to the heavy fire condition from above, as they could not cut into it. Crews also used a hand line multiple times to cool down the 500-gallon propane tank.

Firefighters made their way to the basement level of the home where the doors had burned off the area, allowing them to knock down the heavy fire in the front part of the basement. As additional resources made their way up to the scene firefighters used New York Hooks to lift the metal roof off the house and then used a hand line to knock down the remaining fire in the other part of the house.

Firefighters ran out of water multiple times on scene due to the large distance from the fill sights. After about one hour and 20 minutes firefighters were able to bring the fire under control.

The burn victim arrived at Albany Medical Center and was then transported to the Syracuse Burn Center in critical condition. Fire Investigators arrived on scene and began to conduct their investigation into the house fire. The other occupant of the home was not injured. Firefighters remained on scene for over four hours conducting extensive overhaul. The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.

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