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Fire burns man, family dog dies

PERTH — A male homeowner was badly burned, a firefighter hurt, and a family pet perished in a May 3 blaze that struck two neighboring homes near the Perth Volunteer Fire Department firehouse on Route 30 in the town.

Fulton County Fire Coordinator Steven Santa Maria said Wednesday that the multiple structure fire initially hit a two-story home at 4089 Route 30 at 5:31 p.m. May 3. He said the fire was almost directly across from the firehouse.

Santa Maria said Perth Fire Chief Peter Watrobski was one of the first people to respond. The Perth chief found heavy smoke and fire to the back of the house along with the rear of the attached garage with flames 30-40 feet in the air. He also found a neighboring two-story house exterior to the south starting on fire.

Santa Maria said the structure fire then spread to the second neighboring house, and fire crews had to handle that too. Once they were able to get the second house under control, firefighters went back to the main house reported on fire, he said.

The fires were both basically under control in about an hour, Santa Maria said.

One of the occupants — owner of the first home — had serious burns to the torso and face, the county official said. The man was taken to the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse for treatment. His name was not released.

Santa Maria said a family dog perished in the blaze.

According to a Facebook post by Watrobski, one firefighter was also transported to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady with fire-related issues and later released.

The post said mutual aid from the Broadalbin Volunteer Fire Department and the Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department initially was requested to the scene, Berkshire Volunteer Fire Department, Galway Volunteer Fire Department and the Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Department were also requested to the scene.

Ultimately, others assisting at the scene included: police, National Grid; and the Broadalbin-Kenyetto Volunteer Fire Department, and the Mayfield Volunteer Fire Department, with all fire companies providing mutual aid.

Fire officials said there was heavy, severe damage to the initial home and garage, but the residence to the south was able to be extinguished with minor exterior damage. Assisting on the scene were fire coordinators from Fulton and Montgomery counties and GAVAC.

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