Three fires between December 27 and January 1 destroyed two houses and one steel storage building in the coverage area of the Eastwick Press. The houses, one located in Hoosick Falls and another in Pittstown and a Berlin garage, were total losses with everything located inside of each of them lost.
The Pittstown home on Old State Road in Pittstown, just north of Route 7 near the old Pittstown store, occurred on Wednesday, December 27. The frigid weather, with temperatures in the low teens, hampered firefighter’s efforts to get the fire under control quickly. All area fire departments, with trucks and dozens of firefighters and emergency personel from Melrose, Johnsonville, Center Brunswick, Mountain View, Hoosick, Hoosick Falls, Buskirk, Pittstown and others answered the call. With the fire in close proximity to Route 7, traffic was redirected around the scene with a short detour. The home was a total loss. Much of the home had a steel roof, which gave firefighters a real problem trying to get to the fire in the attic underneath it. Water was easily accessed from a small pond located across Route 7.
The very next morning, Thursday, December 28, a call went out for all area departments to respond to a structure fire at 5 Waldron Avenue in the village of Hoosick Falls just before noon. Local firefighters arrived to the scene with fire shooting out the windows and roof of the two story structure. The single digit temperatures hampered efforts and caused dangerous, slippery conditions for firefighters to move around in. Most departments that responded to the previous day’s fire in Pittstown came to Hoosick Falls, along with Cambridge, White Creek and North Hoosick. The cold was brutal, but all emergency personnel went about their duties without complaint. In the end, the fire had too much head start to save the structure, but the houses located within several feet of the lost home were mostly undamaged. The fire was under control by 1:30 pm. Firefighters had a good water supply with the village hydrant system.
A family of four lost everything they had in this village fire. A man, a woman and their two young female children could use a helping hand. Cash donations can be made at the Immaculate Conceeption Parish Office at the rectory on Main Street in Hoosick Falls. Checks can be mailed to the Hoosick Area Church Association Address: HACA, PO BOX 1, Hoosick Falls, NY 12090. Memo: Waldron Street Fire. A GoFundMe page, which has already collected thousands of dollars is available online at https://www.gofundme.com/help-erick-steph-and-family. Items can be left at Cumberland Farms, Hoosick Falls (Kimmie Gorman 518-686-7183), First United Church, corner of Estabrook Avenue and Main Street in Hoosick Falls (Contact Joyce Brewer through Facebook) and the Eagles Club on First Street in Hoosick Falls (Contact Tracey Fitzpatrick, 518-686-7439. The daughters wear size 5t and 3t, the parents are: Mother size 1, small/medium shirt; Father 36 x 32 pants, XL shirt.
A benefit dinner will be held at the Sandbar on Superior Street in Hoosick Falls on January 14 from 1 to 6 pm for the family. There will be a buffet style dinner, silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. The cost is $12 per person or $20 per couple. The Sand Bar will also be hosting a Putting Tournament with the indoor golf simulator. There will be a $5 per person cost to enter. That will be held from 3 to 5 pm. Items for the family will be accepted on this day.
On New Years Day a mid-morning call went out for a garage fire in Berlin. The location was approximately one mile south of the Berlin High School. The steel sided and roofed garage was located up a steep, narrrow driveway that only allowed two fire trucks to reach the fire scene. Water was trucked from a hydrant located near Stewart’s along Route 22 in Berlin, with Petersburgh providing the pumping truck. After arriving at the bottom of the driveway, it was transferred into a portable folding frame tank that provides a several thousand gallon holding pool. From there it was pumped up the driveway by a Stephentown engine to two Berlin engines where it was distributed through several hoses to the fire. Fire engines ran as quickly as possible between the supply and portable tank but It takes time to get all this set up and the fire didn’t wait.
Again, the weather played a major factor. The driveway and ground around the garage quickly became glare ice and footing was treacherous. Firefighters became coated in ice. After the fire was under control, the firefighters began cleaning up the scene around 12:30 pm. Everything in the structure was lost, including a recently purchased four wheel drive diesel tractor. The house, located about 150 feet from the garage, was undamaged.
There were no serious injuries in any of the events.