Man, dog escape Guilderland fire

January 08, 2018 01:01 PM

GUILDERLAND - Just before 3 a.m. Monday morning, a call came in for a fire in Guilderland. A man and his dog escaped, but by the time firefighters got to the site, it was a total loss.

A quarter-mile stretch of Western Turnpike near the old Victoria Acres harness track was shut down for more than four hours as volunteers raced to save the burning house. However, with the cold and snow and the fact that the house was deep off the road, it was too late.

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"When I first pulled up, the rear of the house was on fire and the fire was coming out the front door and quickly spread. That's why they call it 'balloon-frame construction.' So it's all open on the inside," said Altamont Fire Chief Paul Miller.

The nearest fire hydrants are a half-mile away, so a caravan system to truck in water was set up with several departments responding. Then, from the makeshift pool, it was run nearly 800-feet up to the property. The ice and freezing conditions didn't help either.

"We lost one pumper already due to freezing up. Ice is and cold is a big factor," said Miller.

Later on, a closer look found a small flame still in the corner of the two-story house -- plus steam rising from a smoldering staircase. There was a melted garbage can and crumbled picnic table nearby.

If there is any good news, it's that temperatures were a little higher than they have been. The bad news is the home is a total loss. He'll have to rebuild.


WNYT Staff

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