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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 17, 2011

Firefighter injured
Blaze in Westmere bungalow quelled

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — A Westmere firefighter was taken to the hospital Wednesday morning in the midst of fighting a blaze at a York Road bungalow.

“I don’t believe it’s life-threatening,” said Sean Maguire, spokesman for the Fire Chiefs’ Association. “We expect the firefighter to recover, hopefully sooner rather than later.”

He did not have the firefighter’s name or condition.

A resident at 9 York Road placed an emergency 9-1-1 call at about 7:15 a.m., reporting an electrical fire, said Maguire. Shortly after, a neighbor placed a 9-1-1 call, after seeing flames inside the one-story wooden frame house, he said.

York Road is in Westmere so the Westmere Fire Department responded, with mutual aid from North Bethlehem, Guilderland, McKownville, and Fort Hunter. Emergency medical support was provided by Guilderland EMS, Western Turnpike Rescue Squad, and Five Quad Volunteer Ambulance service from the University at Albany.

“Everyone was out of the house by the time the fire department got there,” said Maguire. Firefighters could see smoke and flames coming from a window on the side of the house. The first crew on the scene “provided ventilation and did the initial knockdown,” said Maguire. A hole was cut in the roof and windows were broken out to release the heat.

The fire was largely contained in a bedroom, he said, and it took 15 to 20 minutes to put it out. Beyond the burning in the bedroom, there was smoke and water damage, said Maguire.

“I believe the house is salvageable,” Maguire said, although he noted an insurance company would have to make that determination.

“The method of attack,” he said, was to contain the fire in the bedroom. It was successful, so, he said, “There were no concerns it would spread to additional structures.”

The town fire investigation team has not yet determined the cause of the fire, on which the chief signs off, said Maguire.

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