More than 100 displaced following Colonie high-rise fire

March 22, 2017 06:16 AM

COLONIE -- Three people are in the hospital and more than 100 are homeless after a high-rise fire in Colonie. It broke out Tuesday night inside the Towne Towers Apartments.

The Fuller Road Fire Department responded to 12 California Ave. shortly after the call was made at 7:22 p.m. They say the fire started in the kitchen of a second floor apartment. The investigation into what happened is ongoing.

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There is no sprinkler system in the building.

According to the American Red Cross, 135 units were evacuated with 100 people left to find shelter. A staging shelter was set up at the Roessleville Elementary School.

Three people were transported to area hospitals for smoke inhalation and burns. One patient is in serious condition.

The elderly that were taken out on stretchers would be allowed back into the building with police and fire escorts to retrieve medication and personal belongings.

No one was allowed back into the building overnight as power was shut off to the entire building.

Many departments responded, including Fuller Road, Midway, Colonie, Shaker, North Bethlehem, Menands, Stamford, McKownville, Boght and Saratoga County.

The blaze was a four-alarm fire. It took a lot of manpower to tackle the blaze, and because it is a high-rise building, that made it even more difficult to fight it.

"135 rooms with heavy smoke and fire on the [second] floor, which again escalates up and down between the smoke and the water. We had floors 3-5 full of smoke. We had to evacuate all five floors," said Colonie Deputy Fire Coordinator Michael Romano.

Future inquiries regarding entries into the building need to be coordinated with Colonie Fire Services and Tri-City Rentals management after 9am on March 22. The Tri-City Rentals information line after 9 a.m. is 518-862-6600.

Colonie fire press briefing


Karen Tararache

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