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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 13, 2010

Volunteer firefighter arrested for DWI responding to porch blaze

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — A Stanford Heights firefighter responding to a porch fire last Thursday night was driving drunk, and hit a Guilderland Police officer with his car, police say.

Around midnight last Thursday, Guilderland Police received a call reporting a fire at 2729 Curry Road. Guilderland Police officer Don Jones was controlling traffic, and tried to stop a vehicle driven by Thomas Fortune, a Stanford Heights volunteer.

Fortune, 42, of Rotterdam, was driving a 1999 Saturn, and attempted to drive through the traffic stop, according to Captain Curtis Cox; Fortune’s car door was open, and as he accelerated through the stop, the door struck Jones on the arm.

Guilderland officers Michael Minette and Joseph Mazzone stopped Fortune when he pulled into a driveway past the traffic stop, and he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and failure to comply with a lawful order, all misdemeanors.

Fortune’s blood alcohol content was .15 percent; the legal driving limit is below .08 percent. It was determined that Fortune was attempting to respond to the scene of the fire. He works as an investigator for the state’s Department of Health, according to a release from the Guilderland Police. He is scheduled to appear in Guilderland Town Court on May 20.

Jones was treated by Guilderland Emergency Services for the injury to his right arm; Cox said the injury was not serious and he was released.

There were no injuries related to the fire; the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Also on the scene were the Fort Hunter Volunteer Fire Company, the Guilderland Fire Department, Guilderland Center Fire Department, North Bethlehem Fire Department, Carman Fire Department, Rotterdam Fire District 2, Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department, and South Schenectady Fire Department. Rescue squads on the scene included Guilderland Emergency Services, the Western Turnpike Rescue Squad, and the Altamont Rescue Squad.

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