Friday, January 05, 2018

Stubborn Blaze Battles Firefighters


They kept pouring the water on but the flames kept popping back up despite the deluge.

This afternoon a fire erupted at 72 Brinkerfoff Street, a three story wooden house dating back to 1895.  Plattsburgh City Fire Department received a call about the blaze around 2:50 PM.

The flames appeared to be centered inside on the top floor, eating away at the roof. Firefighters directed high pressure hoses from the ground and from an aerial ladder hovering above roof level.  

Sub-zero temps added to the difficulty of containing the blaze.  The spraying water coated the firefighter's black coats with white frost and also transformed trees into ice sculptures.

Sometimes dense gray smoke erupted, obscuring the view. Only flashing red and yellow fire truck lights penetrated the dirty cloud.  People smelled the smoke blocks away.  It seeped into buildings, tainting the air in the public library down the street.

From an open front door water gushed out, flowing down the street.  Steam rose up from the gutter river.  Ashen debris pooled in places.

The fire department had evacuated the building next door.  One of the displaced tenants waited at the public library.  He said he couldn't moved his recently purchased car.  He also had to leave his medication behind.

From the fire damage it appeared the house was a total loss.  The building was empty, its college student tenants away for the winter break.

An initial report suggested an unattended portable heater had tipped over, setting off the blaze.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

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