On July 5, 2017, the City of Troy (NJ) fire and police departments were dispatched for an alarm of fire at the corner of 125th street and 5th Ave for multiple reports of a vacant house on fire.
Engine 1 arrived on scene within minutes of the dispatch and declared they had heavy fire conditions in the rear of the building of a three-story vacant building with exposure issues. E-1’s crew pulled a hand line to the rear of the building and started to put water of the fire, but it had ahead start on firefighters. A second alarm was called, bring an additional engine and truck company to the scene.
The heavy fire rapidly spread up back of the building and in the three-story balloon frame vacant structure. While firefighters were battling the fire from the rear of the building, the back of the building started to collapse and a live power line fell from the building, causing firefighters to move to a safe location to try to knock down the fire.
The heavy fire and heat caused exposure D to catch fire. The commercial building next door the vacant building was grocery store. Firefighters pulled multiple handlines and 2 1/2-inch lines along with portable deck guns to try to bring the fire under control quickly. As the fire spread throughout the commercial business, heavy smoke pushed from the roof and the front door of the building. Multiple firefighters forced entry in to the building, but conditions rapidly changed and heavy smoke and fire pushed through the roof of the building. Command ordered that all of the interior crews to pull out of the building as it was unsafe at this time to make an interior attack.
Truck 2 and Truck 1 used their master streams on both buildings, but they could not keep up with the heavy fire loads. In the original fire building, heavy smoke pushed throughout the building and from the cockloft and roof. Firefighters poured water into the vacant building with multiple master streams, but was not having any effect on the deep-seated fire. Command had two truck companies close off the master streams so that crews could make entry and knock down the remaining fire in the commercial building. Firefighters made entry in to the commercial building and mounted an aggressive interior attack and knock down all of the remaining heavy fire.
Firefighters had a exhausting task of overhauling and pulling ceilings in the commercial structure. While firefighters were pulling ceilings and conducting heavy overhaul to bring the other fire under control, the fire in the main fire building took off in the cockloft, with fire venting out all sides of the building. Command had both truck companies go above the vacant building and use both master streams and start to knock down the heavy fire.
Command had the city of Watervliet, Green Island, and Cohoes fire departments come in to the city for mutual aid while firefighters where on scene all morning battling flames. Firefighters where on scene for more then four. Both buildings were a total loss. This area has seen a previous fire about two weeks before this fire only two blocks away. The city of Troy’s police department has deemed this fire an arson fire and is currently looking for any information from residence in regards to this fire. No firefighters were injured on scene. If you have any information regarding this fire your urge to contact Troy Police Department at 518-270-4421.