Off-Duty Firefighters Rescue Woman from Latham (NY) Structure Fire

Flames from a fire in Latham, New York
Photo by Sidewinder Photography

Incident report from Sidewinder Photography

Two off-duty firefighters rescued a 92-year-old woman from a raging structure fire last week in the hamlet of Latham, New York.

On August 3, 2021 at 7:40 p.m., two off duty Latham firefighters were on their way to dinner noticed a thick heavy black column of smoke. The firefighters immediately turned onto Arnold Avenue, where they discovered a working fire in the rear of the house with a homeowner attempting to extinguish what was a tractor fire under a metal awning. With the heavy fire condition traveling along the metal awning, the fire quickly began to spread to the attached garage and house.

The homeowner told off-duty Latham Fire Department Lieutenant Billy Juliano that his 92-year-old mother was in the home. Without hesitation, Lieutenant Juliano sprinted up the hill to the front of the house where thick black smoke began to pour from the roof of the garage. Richard Haack of Town of Colonies Car One ran back to his vehicle and grabbed his portable radio and notified the dispatcher that he had a working garage fire in the rear of 2 Arnold Ave. that was rapidly spreading to the house. LT. Billy Juliano Made his way to the front door of the house which was locked and the side door.

With only one way to make his way inside of the house, Lieutenant Juliano ran through the garage and into the house, shutting the door behind him and calling out to the occupant. Lieutenant Juliano immediately assisted the woman from her home as fire blew through the roof of the garage and began to spread to the front of the house. Lieutenant Juliano was able to get the woman across the street to safety, away from the fire. Richard Haack ran back To the rear of the house to assist the other homeowner in removing multiple large gas cans, welding cylinders, and the homeowners’ camper from the rear portion of the house, which was well involved.

Flames from the fire shot 30 feet in to the air as members of the Latham, Menands, Schuyler Heights, Shaker Road, West Albany, Colonie Village, Boght, and the Watervliet Arsenal Fire Department responded to the scene. With heavy fire pushing from the garage, the first-arriving engine immediately deployed multiple hand lines to the front of the garage and rear of the house and began to knock down the heavy fire. Firefighters made their way into the house and began to check the living room for extension as the garage had been fully involved. Firefighters were not able to make entry to the garage due to the solar panels that had collapsed inside of the garage. Members were able to quickly bring the fire under control in less than 20 minutes, but firefighters remained on scene for more than two hours while investigators conducted their investigation into the incident.

No firefighters were injured while battling the fire and all of the residents in the house were able to make it out safely thanks to the intervention of the off-duty members.

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