Farmhouse burns in North Greenbush

October 05, 2017 05:40 PM

NORTH GREENBUSH - The one tenant living at 97 Glenwood wasn't home when the fire started.  A highway department employee noticed the smoke and called 911.  Volunteer fire fighters, from all over Rensselaer County, dispatched to the fire because there were a lot unknowns with the 142 year old wooden farmhouse.

"It's day time and departments rely on each other for manpower and because it's a big building it could use a lot of resources," explained North Greenbush Police Chief Robert Durivage.

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Fire fighters first began to attack the flames with tanker water.  It took close to 40 minutes to establish a line from the nearest hydrant because it had been sealed after a recent painting.  Fire fighters had to use mallets to open the hydrant.

"Sometimes these hydrants aren't used frequently, we have to basically loosen them up," said Chief Brian McCrea with the Defreestville Fire Department.

The North Greenbush Water Department is responsible for hydrant maintenance.  Chief McCrea believes that seasonal hudrant flushing, plus their frequent training, would prevent this type of delay from happening with most other hydrants in the town.  He adds that tanker water was enough for this fire - it was under control in 20 minutes and the fire was completely out, once the hydrant started flowing, in two hours.

"Sometimes we don't need the water off the bat.  The apparatus carries thousands of gallons of water.  We may not have needed the water just yet," added McCrea.

NewsChannel 13 wanted to determine if this would be an issue with other hydrants - how many had recently been painting and are there plans, after today, to check and ensure this doesn't happen again.  The North Greenbush Water Department did not return a phone call or an email.

NewsChannel 13 did describe the issue to a high ranking retired fire fighter from another local department.  He said this would have been a problem for him and he would have been in the Town Manager's office immediately to express his concern.


WNYT Staff

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