Second fire in Troy spurs concern from some for firefighters' safety

May 08, 2019 11:32 PM

TROY - They put their lives, literally, in the line of fire.

"We had water problems here, we had major explosions throughout the building. At that time when the explosions started to occur we backed our crews away," Troy Fire Chief Eric McMahon said.


But it's the danger firefighters are exposed to that can't be seen with the naked eye that has some concerned.

"We think that's absolutely crazy, our profession, the cancer risk is 10% greater than any other profession," Eric Wisher said, Troy Professional Firefighters Local 86 President.  

Wisher has been advocating for the department to purchase another set of turnout gear.

Currently, they get washed two at a time and they must air dry for 24 hours before being assembled again but there wasn't time for that de-contamination on Wednesday.

"To put that stuff back on when it's loaded, it offgases if it's not cleaned they've done studies on that," Wisher explained.

Wisher says another set of turnout gear would cost the city of troy $340,000.

Watervliet, Schenectady and Kingston all have two sets.

The chief is concerned about cancer causing chemicals on turnout gear but says it's just not in the budget.

"Not at this time, we're not considering getting another set it would in a perfect world that would be ideal," McMahon said.

Troy Council President Carmella Mantello says she plans to bring up the issue at next Thursday's Finance Committee meeting.

As for the welding warehouse, the owner told NewsChannel 13 he recently listed the property for sale and did not have insurance for it.


Karen Tararache

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