Incident report and pictures by Sidewinder Photography
The Watervliet (NY) Fire Department responded for a reported structure fire at 329 Broadway. The first-arrival crews had heavy fire coming out of every window of a 200×200, two-story brick warehouse.
Command immediately requested the second alarm requesting the city of Troy, Green Island, Cohoes, Watervliet Arsenal, and the city of Albany to the scene. The heavy column of smoke could be seen up to 50 miles away.
Firefighters adopted a defensive position, pulling multiple 2 1/2-inch handlines and operating multiple master stream operations. The flames from the building reached about 50 feet in the air at one point. Dozens of explosions occurred inside the building, a few rattling nearby homes.
Police officers from the city of Watervliet helped evacuate residents living near the warehouse as a precaution. As firefighters were making a defensive stand, the wall on the far end of the building collapsed out into the street. Command requested the third alarm shortly after the collapse and set up a larger collapse zone, moving all the engines on scene back away from the building further.
Firefighters had to contend with warm temperatures as well as heat from the fire. A rehab section was set up for firefighters in order to cool down and keep them hydrated. Firefighters began to get the fire under control about two hours into the incident.
The building is a total loss and one neighboring structure suffered damage. No firefighters or civilians were hurt during this fire.