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.