4/3/2012 South Schodack Mutual Aid Structure Fire by Greg Forgea.
At approximately 0725 the South Schodack fire department and day time mutual aid were dispatched
to the area of South Schodack Rd and the New York State Thruway for a reported working structure fire.
Upon arrival of Battalion 4-1 and the chief officers from Schodack ordered a third alarm assignment with
a special request for East Greenbush for Truck 11.
While Truck 11 was in route, with Cars 1 and 4 on the scene, a second request was transmitted
for two tankers from East Greenbush to the scene to join the tanker relay for the now fully involved
structure fire. Upon arrival at the scene Car 4 directed the truck crew to set up the ladder for
master stream operations. The ladder was fed by dual 4 inch lines supplied from Schodack Valley
which allowed operation of both guns in the bucket.
A water supply operation was a major factor in this fire as the nearest water supply was over a mile
away. Crews had to secure a water source out of a local pond as well as utilize hydrants in separate
areas of the district. Crews tanked water for over 6 hours making more than 30 drops at the fire scene.
Since the fire was so advanced upon arrival crews made a defensive stand and contained the fire
to the building and origin. Fire command requested a local excavator to respond to the scene to
begin pulling the building apart and removing the burning material that was stacked in the interior.
For 8 hours the crew from Truck 11 flowed water into the burned out building hitting multiple
hot spots and providing protection to the excavator operating inside the building. Crews began picking
up from the scene at approximately 1530 hours some 8 hours after the original alarm was struck.
All East Greenbush units were back in quarters at 1635, after a quick clean up and equipment
replacement crews were released from the stations.
This blaze consumed a large industrial building that produced fire starters out of old saw dust and wood chips.
The fire load inside the building was extremely high which worked against firefighters. During operations
the New York State Thruway authority posted a smoke warning to drivers on the nearby roadway for almost
zero visibility from the smoke.
All units operating on the scene did an excellent job throughout the duration of the fire.
Establishing a rural water supply to feed a tower ladder is no easy task but with sound decision
making by the command officers this was accomplished. Multiple departments from Rensselaer and
surrounding counties operated and it is always a pleasure to say no injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the town of Schodack fire investigators.
The East Greenbush Fire Department would also like to thank the crew from Defreestville (station 9) for the cover assignment at our North Station.