Capstone blaze contained, everyone safely evacuated

AMSTERDAM — Teamwork seemed to be the key to evacuating the residents from the Capstone Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing on Swart Hill Road after a fire began on the roof of the building on Wednesday.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Rick Sager said the fire occurred around 3 p.m. He said upon arrival “there was a considerable amount of smoke on the fourth floor in the west wing of the building.”

Sager said before firefighters knew the extent of the fire, they had moved residents on the fourth floor to the third floor due to the heavy smoke.

Once they knew the extent of the fire and first responders were able to determine the fire to be on the roof, they began to evacuate everyone out of the building.

Sager said everyone was evacuated to the garden at the front east of the building. He said staff had made preparations to transfer residents to another facility if need be.

“There was a really good effort and great teamwork between fire departments, and the Capstone staff did an excellent job to get people out of the building,” Sager said.

The origin of the fire appeared to be a utility room that contained air handling units and an emergency generator. Sager said he believes the cause to be the air handling units.

“We’re still looking into different things,” Sager said. “It’s being investigated by Cranesville Fire Department and New York state Fire Prevention and Control.”

There were no injuries and only a little damage on the fourth floor due to water and smoke. Sager said they were able to contain the fire in the area of the roof.

Capstone staff and firefighters were able to get all residents back inside the building and into a room by 9 p.m.

Responding to the scene were representatives from Fulton County Emergency Management, New York state Fire Prevention and Control, Cranesville Fire Department as the lead agency, Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department, Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Company, Tribes Hill Fire Department, Perth Volunteer Fire Company, West Glenville Fire Company, Beukendaal Fire Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, state police and GAVAC.

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