Fire destroys Guilderland home

April 04, 2017 04:14 PM

GUILDERLAND - Fire crews were called to another early morning fire in the Capital Region Tuesday. That's about a half a dozen over the past two weeks.

This time, it was a fire on Curry Road Extension in Guilderland. One man escaped, but it took some time to get water on it.

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It was a hot, intense fire in a small country house on Curry Road Extension. The man living there, Willie Bradt, was able to save a few, not all of his cats as he helplessly watched it burn into the early morning air. He had gone running across the street to his neighbor.

"About 5 o'clock this morning I hear a banging on my window and it was neighbor screaming my house is on fire. I ran outside and you could see it. There was no flame yet, but smoke, the whole thing. Went up quick," said Tommy Toth, a neighbor.

"Initial crews were pulling cats out of the house right from the start," explained Chief Greg Comparetta with the Fort Hunter Fire Department.

The toughest part for the firefighters was getting water to this spot. Even though Stanford Heights and Fort Hunter firehouses were nearby, there are no hydrants on this stretch of road, so pumpers were filled and about a mile of hose was run to get to the house.

"A lot of debris upstairs and all that but thankfully the crew was able to get to the second floor the staircase right from the front door on up. They got up there pretty quick and were able to hit it but again we didn't have the water supply to sustain that so we had to back the crew out," said Comparetta.

Bradt was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Officials say it was sheer luck he got out because there were no working smoke alarms inside.

A family member who had been in a wheelchair was living there until recently but had just been moved to a long-term care facility. Neighbors say there could have been as many as two-dozen cats.

The house is the original home on that road. It has fallen into disrepair over time, although many neighbors used to come and visit, even climb the apple trees in an orchard nearby. Now it's all coming down.


Michael Gwizdala

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