Area fires challenge firefighters

Fire safety vitally important during cold

Firefighters of Fulton and Saratoga counties had their hands full this week. There were four structure fires — one in Johnstown, one in Perth, one in Edinburgh and one in Bleecker.

“With it being cold everyone is pushing their heating systems to the limit,” said Steven Santa Maria, Fulton County Office of Civil Defense and Fire Coordinator.

On Tuesday a residential structure fire occurred at 345 County Highway 112, Bleecker. Santa Maria said the occupant living in the home had brought in fire wood for the wood stove and set the wood too close to the woodstove, which is what caused the fire. He said the fire was contained in that area of the home, so there was minor fire damage and smoke damage throughout the home. Santa Maria said there were no injuries.

“Fire wood should be kept three feet away from the wood stove,” Santa Maria said.

Also on Tuesday, there was a minor fire at 433 County Highway 158. Santa Maria said the fire was caused because the chimney assembly to a pellet stove fell off. Again, there were no injures and everyone got out safely.

Santa Maria said to always keep the chimney clean and have it inspected annually by a professional.

On Thursday, a fire occurred at 2282 Route 67 in the town of Johnstown in a 20- by- 20 building behind Heagle’s furniture store. The fire was started because a heat lamp that was being used to keep chickens warm was knocked down.

Santa Maria said Berkshire Fire Department responded, with Pleasant Square Fire Department on as mutual aid. He said the building was a “total loss” and minor damage was done to the furniture store. Santa Maria said there were no injuries, but firefighters worked in icy conditions and the fire lasted from about 3:50 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.

On Friday, a two-story wood frame structure at 1574 S. Shore Road, Edinburgh caught fire. Saratoga fire departments responded, with Mayfield, Broadalbin and Northville fire departments as mutual aid. The fire began at around 1:20 a.m. and ended at 9:30 a.m.

Santa Maria said the structure was a “total loss,” but no one was injured. He said the bitter cold made it tough to put the fire out and the transit was freezing up. He said firefighters did the best job they could putting the fire out.

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