Mayday, More Than a Dozen Rescued from Colonie (NY) Apartment Fire

Fire apparatus at the scene of a major apartment fire in Colonie, New York.

A Mayday was declared and more than a dozen people rescued during a four-alarm apartment fire in Colonie, New York. Sidewinder Photography provided details, photos, and videos from the scene.

Crews from a number of departments–Fuller Road Fire Department with Midway, Latham, Shaker Road, West Albany, Menands, Schuyler Heights, Stanford Heights, Boght, Colonie Village, North Bethlehem, Town of Colonie Duty Crew, and Colonie EMS–responded to the Towne Tower Apartment Complex for a reported structure fire

On arrival, Rescue 3 made their way to the second floor, where the encountered a heavy smoke condition with extreme heat and relayed to dispatch that they had a working fire on the second floor and multiple residents unable to get out. Command immediately requested multiple additional engines and rapid intervention teams from mutual aid companies in the town of Colonie to the scene along with more than 10 ambulances. A third alarm was transmitted.

As additional engines arrived, heavy fire burst through the window on the second floor. Cews reported zero-visibility conditions while trying to rescue residents from the building. Command had all incoming apparatus immediately start to evacuate the building. Firefighters stretched multiple high-rise packs to the second floor and connected pack to the standpipe in zero visibility conditions and extreme heat.

As this was going on, multiple firefighters were rescuing people who were trapped in the building on the floor above the fire, where heavy, black smoke was blanketing the floor. One after another, firefighters brought the victims outside. At one point, a resident was in the window and had to be rescued. Midway and Fuller Road’s ladder truck set up in the front of the building to be able to pull any resident from the floors above.

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Firefighters pulled multiple handlines to the second floor to assist firefighters in battling the apartment building fire. Firefighters forced the door and had heavy fire conditions in the apartment on the second floor. Crews were able to knock down the fire quickly but still had heavy black smoke and extreme heat on the second floor. West Albany firefighters were sent to the second floor to start to force any door that was closed and had not been checked for any trapped victims. Firefighters searched floor by floor, all the way to the fifth floor, removing anybody that was still in the building and assisting them outside.

One firefighter experienced low air and declared a Mayday on scene, but was quickly found and removed from the building with no injury. EMS treated multiple patients on scene for minor injuries. A doctor was brought in just in case to standby on scene in case of an emergency.

Multiple towns and counties were asked to standby in the town of Colonie for this structure fire. Firefighters remained on scene for most of the night, with multiple patients transported to local hospitals to be evaluated. The fire is currently under investigation at this time. More than 200 firefighters were on scene, along with more than 50 pieces of apparatus and equipment.

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