1/19/2012 Mutual Aid Structure fire Defreestville by Greg Forgea.
At approximately 0300 hours on 1/19/2012 members were alerted for a second alarm structure
fire (signal 30, box 9-50) in the Defreestville fire district. EGFD Cars 3 and 4 were first on
the air and upon arrival checked in with fire command, while Engine Company 8 responded with a
crew of 5 under the command of Capt. Forgea.
Engine 8's arrival instructions were to take a neighboring driveway and send interior
personnel to the C (back) side. As the crew was approaching the house, evacuation tones went
off and all firefighters were ordered out of the building due to rapid fire spread. Crews from
first due Defreestville evacuated out a second floor window after performing a VentEntrySearch
for a possible reported victim in a second floor bedroom. After a quick Personal Accountability
Check, crews went heavy duty with multiple hand lines and blitzed the fire. After the bulk of
the fire was knocked down the crew from engine 8, under the command of Assistant Chief Lehman,
threw multiple ground ladders on the C side of the building and made entry to the first floor.
The crew from engine 8 operated with Assistant Chief Prestipino and knocked down hot spots in
the kitchen and laundry room. While crews from EGFD were operating on the first floor crews from
CHFD,DFD AND WFD were still trying to open up the second floor where fire still had control. After
extinguishing the first floor hot spots the EGFD crew split up and went to the second floor where
there was still heavy fire. Members opened walls and pulled ceilings and found fire running the
walls and fire in the attic. After a conversation with command it was determined that crews would
be pulled out of the second floor due to a partial roof collapse and once again would flow master
East Greenbush crews were released by command at approximately 0630 hours and the engine was
back in service at 0730. Excellent job by the first due companies in making entry and searching
for the possible victim under heavy smoke and high heat. Great job by everybody that operated
at the fire.
This fire took place on one of the coldest nights of the year so far. The temperature at the
time of the call was 6 degrees with a wind-chill of 0. Crews had to deal with icy conditions
throughout the fire as well as gear and SCBA's being frozen to the firefighters. After working
at a fire like this crews said "spring can come any time now".