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Fatal House Fire Claims Woman's Life in Latham

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | November 24, 2020 | NEW YORK

Story No. 120720110

Latham, NY - On November 24th at 10:47 P.M., the Latham Fire Department along with Shaker Road, Fuller Road, Maplewood, Verdoy, Schuyler Heights, and the West Albany Fire Department were dispatched to a structure fire at 3 George Street after a caller reported that their neighbor's house was on fire.

The first arriving medical unit on scene notified the dispatcher that they had smoke showing from the house and could hear an individual inside of the house screaming. Latham Fire Department's Car 28 and Shaker Road’s Car 52 arrived on scene and immediately began to attempt to make entry to the structure, but could not make it into the structure due to the heavy fire conditions inside the house. Truck 4 and Engine 419 arrived on scene and Truck 4's crew immediately forced entry into the structure.

Firefighters from Engine 419 connected to the fire hydrant across the street and deployed a single hand line to the front door. With heavy smoke banking down throughout the house and hoarding conditions throughout the structure, firefighters pushed further inside and were met with heavy fire pushing from the kitchen into the living room.

Truck 4's crew found the downed individual inside of the house and notified command that they were coming out with a victim. As firefighters were removing the victim, heavy fire pushed from the back of the structure up over the top of the house. Engine 419’s crew pushed into the front door of the structure and made their way to the well involved kitchen area.

Firefighters immediately began to knock down the heavy fire condition inside of the structure. The Shaker Road Fire Department's crew arrived on scene within minutes to assist with fire suppression efforts. Truck 4’s crew pulled the victim out of the house and out onto the front lawn where EMS personnel were waiting, and medics immediately loaded the patient into the ambulance and took off for Albany Medical Center.

Firefighters from Truck 4 made entry back into the house and began to assist with overhauling. Additional firefighters from West Albany, Fuller Road and Schuyler Heights arrived on scene and began to assist with overhaul. Firefighters deployed additional hand lines into the structure to hit all of the remaining hot spots.

Crews were able to bring the fire under control in less than eight minutes from the time of arrival. Firefighters remained on scene until the early hours of the morning while investigators conducted their investigation. One member of Colonie EMS experienced breathing issues and was transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital where they were later released.

The Colonie Fire Services Division is investigating the cause of the fire and is being assisted by the New York State office of fire prevention and control’s investigations unit, as well as members of the Colonie Police Department’s investigations unit. Police stated there is no early indications of criminal activity, but the investigation is in the early stages and a final determination has yet to be made.

An autopsy was performed on the victim and the cause of death was determined to be from asphyxia secondary to smoke inhalation. The victim was identified as 47-year-old Jennifer Moran. Police are asking if anyone has any information about the fire, they are urged to contact the Colonie Police Department at 518-783-2744.

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