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Deadly Slingerlands fire remains under investigation

June 14, 2019 05:24 AM

SLINGERLANDS - Officials are still investigating a deadly fire at Meadowbrook Apartments in Slingerlands.

So far, we know one man died in this fire. Bethlehem police say an autopsy will be conducted at Ellis Hospital on Friday.

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This fire broke out around 2 a.m. Thursday morning. It burned for hours as National Grid officials struggled to turn off the gas line that was fueling the fire.

The North Bethlehem fire chief says that was just one of the things making logistics a bit difficult here. First, he said it was tricky to arrange the fire engines in a way that gave them good access to the building. Part of that is due to the fact that the buildings are so close together.

Another issue they faced early on is getting water. One of the hydrants between the Meadowbrook and Bethlehem Terrace complexes wasn't working, so firefighters had to hook up elsewhere.

Lastly, the gas shutoff was too close to the fire to be turned off safely, so it continued to burn for about four hours while crews dug a hole to access another shutoff valve.

Both local and state officials are working on investigating the cause of this fire. They say it may take a while due to how hot and fast this fire moved through the structure.

"It's too early to tell if there was any audible warning devices inside the structure. The structure is not equipped with sprinklers due to the age of the building. We are working on confirming the exact age, but it's at least 50 years old. There are no sprinklers in this building," said Commander Adam Hornick with Bethlehem Police Department.

Hear from the North Bethlehem fire chief on the difficulties in fighting these fires by watching the video of Emily Burkhard's story.

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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