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9/4/2016 Mutial Aid Structure fire in Rensselaer NY. By Greg Forgea.
       At approximately 1530 hours on September 4 th, the Rensselaer City Fire Department was dispatched for a reported structure fire in the area of the 1600 block of Fourth St. First arriving Rensselaer units found a single family house well off with exposure problems on the B and D sides. Rensselaer Ladder 1 transmitted the second alarm for box 29-02 bringing in mutual aid departments.
       East Greenbush Car 4 (A/C Forgea) called en route and was advised that Rensselaer units now had two buildings involved. Car 4 met up with RFD command, and it was determined that East Greenbush Engine 8, which was enroute to the cover assignment, was needed at the scene. Engine 8, with a crew of 5, diverted and responded directly to the scene. Car 4 completed a quick 360 of both fire buildings and, after a quick conversation with Command, it was determined that the crew from Engine 8 would work in the B exposure.
       The crew from Engine 8, members from Clinton Heights Engine Company 8-5, and EGFD Car 4 advanced a 1 ¾ attack line into the exposure building and made entry into the attic space. While advancing up the stairs, members from T-8 completed the vent, providing better conditions for the attack crew. After a couple of minutes of operating in the attic, conditions began to rapidly deteriorate with crews now experiencing smoke banked to the floor and high heat. A decision was made to exit the structure and hit the heavy fire now blowing out the front with a master stream from the exterior.
       After exiting the building and seeing how advanced the fire was, Command requested an additional engine company from East Greenbush as well as additional mutual aid departments. East Greenbush Engine 7, with a crew of 6, arrived and was tasked with reverse laying from Engine 8 to the adjacent street to secure a second water source. The crew from Engine 7 met up with the members from Engine 8, and they once again made a push up the stairs in the exposure building. After 3 hours of operation, crews extinguished the fire in both buildings and began overhaul.
       The first arriving members of the City Of Rensselaer Fire Department conducted an aggressive attack which ultimately limited fire damage to both exposure buildings. East Greenbush operated at the scene for just under 4 hours with 14 members. We would like to thank the Best Luther and Castleton fire departments for providing station coverage while we operated in the city. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Rensselaer Fire and police departments.