By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
It was a busy night for Montgomery County firefighters Friday as they battled, not one, not two, but three different fires within the county.
The fires broke out at various points during the night as the snowstorm Nemo made its way through county boundaries.
The first call came in at 8:23 p.m. for a possible structure fire at 1405 East Lykers Rd in the Town of Charleston.
Charleston Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene to find a fully-involved house fire, said Charleston Fire Chief Wes More.
No one was in the residence at the time of the fire, the chief said, but it is occupied by one individual.
No injuries were reported.
"We had several both in-county and out-of-county stations involved," the chief said, including Burtonsville, Canajoharie, Ames, Glen, and Rural Grove fire departments from within Montgomery County and Esperance, Carlisle, and Central Bridge fire departments from outside of the county.
Town of Florida, Moriaville, and Fultonville fire department remained on stand-by.
More said the fire crews did what they could to beat the blaze but in the end it was a total loss.
The homeowner received emergency aid from the Northeastern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross, who provided him with financial assistance for food and clothing, according to Red Cross news release.
The crews left the scene around 3:50 a.m. Saturday.
The cause of the fire will remain unknown, More said, as crews were unable to do an investigation due to the fire's devastation.
As for Nemo's effects on the crews, More said though the storm didn't freeze hose lines, the roads were treacherous both in and out of the county, causing some challenges with getting water to the scene.
He added that the hazardous driving conditions also effected response times, making them longer than normal.
Although the house was surrounded by homes, only siding on one of the adjacent structures was harmed.
More said they shut off the gas to that home temporarily for safety reasons, but were able to turn it back on by the morning.
"We were very lucky in that regard and I think a lot of it had to do with we didn't have the wind to contend with," More said. "We had multiple agencies involved and everybody did a good job working together."
Less than two hours after Charleston got their call, Fultonville Fire Department received a call at around 10 p.m. for a reported fire at Chief's Truck Repair at 218 Riverside Drive.
Dale Furman, Montgomery County Fire Coordinator, said Saturday evening that the exact cause is still under investigation, but a passing motorist saw the fire through an open bay door at the garage.
"One of the tractors inside of the garage caught fire," Furman said, and the fire inside cause the garage door in front of it to short out, causing it to open.
"Fultonville did a great job of knocking the fire down and containing that fire to that truck itself," Furman said. "We thought we were going to lose the whole building."
But that didn't happen, he said, due to good fire-fighting techniques from the fire departments involved.
The tractor was burnt right to the bottom, Furman said, but there was very minor damage to the garage itself.
Nine departments were called out to Fultonville's fire for different reasons, but only six were on scene.
Others were either on their way when they were called off or on stand-by.
Furman said that had the Fultonville Fire Department not already been at their station on stand-by for the Charleston fire, the outcome wouldn't have been the same.
The crew left the Fultonville fire a little after 1 a.m. Saturday.
Furman said it was an exhausting evening for Montgomery County fire crews, and the cold weather and snow storm definitely hampered driving.
"The town and the state did a great job of keeping the roads open," he said. "I think everything went very well."
After talking to a couple of the fire chiefs, Furman said that by the time the crews had retrieved their equipment and got everything back to normal at their stations, they didn't leave to go home until 4 a.m.
The final fire of the overnight came Saturday at 5 a.m. when crews responded to a suspicious barn fire in Minden which is still being investigation by New York State Police.
About an hour later some Montgomery County fire crews were called to assist Schoharie County Fire Departments with a house fire in Sloansville.