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Early morning house fire in Glenville

By: Capital News 9 Web Team Staff


Firefighters are still at the scene of a house fire in Glenville that broke out early Saturday morning. 

Firefighters were called to this house on Scotch Bush Road in Glenville shortly before 2 a.m..

One person was able to get outside safely. 

The fire chief says the cold, combined with part of the roof caving in, make it difficult to extinguish the fire. 

No word how the fire started, but investigators don't think it was intentional. 




Fire clears tower

Area blazes keep firefighters busy

By: R.J. Kelly Gazette Reporter  February 11, 2007


A fire that heavily damaged at least one fourth-floor apartment in the five-story Wade Lupe Towers in Schenectady drove about 130 residents from their homes for several hours Saturday afternoon, fire officials said.

An unidentified woman who was in the fourth-floor apartment at 10 Queens Drive where the fire appeared to have started was taken to St. Clare's Hospital for evaluation, according to Schenectady Assistant Fire Chief Michael Della Rocco, but she was not believed to be seriously injured.

The fire was one of several Saturday that also kept firefighters in East Glenville and Mechanicville battling flames as well as sub-freezing temperatures.

A house at 69 Scotch Bush Road in Glenville was destroyed by a 1:45 a.m. fire blamed on an unattended candle.  One firefighter suffered a minor hand injury fighting the roaring blaze, according to East Glenville Fire Chief Arnold Briscoe.

In Mechanicville, firefighters were called to a 2:15 a.m. fire that destroyed the contents of a garage at 215 N. 2nd Ave., including two vehicles, police said.  No injuries were reported.

As firefighters and rescue personnel were busy making sure occupants of the approximately 150-unit Wade Lupe Towers were accounted for, Schenectady resident Daniel Leach arrived about 4 p.m. in answer to an urgent e-mail from his paraplegic brother, Martin, 45, who live in a ground-floor apartment.

Leach, who lives across town, said his brother, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, wrote that there was a fire and "they're not evacuating yet."

By the time a worried Daniel Leach arrived, however, firefighters assured him that Martin had been checked out and was OK.

"That's why we picked the first floor," Leach said, to make exit easier.

Although smoke from the fire affected the forth and fifth floors, most of the apartments were undamaged, Della Rocco said.  The brick building is located between The Home Depot and Stadium Golf Course.

Many of the residents were relocated to the ground floor lobby to provide refuge from the 25-degree outside temperature.  In addition to checking for residents, firefighters wearing air packs went throughout the building measuring for carbon monoxide, the deadly odorless gas that can result from fires or unexhausted fumes.

Standing outside in the cold, 85 year-old Tom Hartnett, who lives on the second floor of Wade Lupe Towers, said residents were initially told to evacuate.

Hartnett said he learned of the fire "when we heard the fire trucks coming."  He was escorted back into the building's lobby by firefighters about 5 p.m.

All Schenectady units were committed to the scene, Della Rocco said, because of the number of apartments, and crews from Rotterdam's Carmen Fire Department refilled air packs and stood on standby.

Several windows around the fourth-floor corner apartment were the fire began were broken out and charred.  A third-floor apartment directly below was believed damaged from water in the ceiling heating units, and power was turned off in that unit and possibly in some other apartments as a precaution, Della Rocco said.

The cause of the blaze was not available Saturday, but it appeared to have started in the kitchen area of the fourth-floor apartment, Della Rocco said.

In East Glenville, wind and temperatures about 10 degrees made work difficult for firefighters from five area departments, according to Briscoe.

Flames shot from the back of the East Scotch Bush Road ranch-style house when firefighters arrived about 1:45 a.m.  Attempts to stop the blaze from the inside were thwarted when the roof began to collapse and flames spread to the basement.

The sole resident, a man whose name was not available Saturday, was awakened by a smoke detector, saw flames were a candle had apparently been left burning and managed to get out and call emergency dispatchers, Briscoe said.

The flames were knocked down in about an hour, but firefighters were kept busy until about 8 a.m.

Because of the wind and cold, Briscoe said firefighters had to be rotated to alternatively fight the blaze and be given respites to warm up.  A frozen or malfunctioning hydrant necessitated the assistance of tanker trucks from Charlton and Burnt Hills.