Apartment fire forces residents from homes

Firefighters work at the scene of an electrical fire on Warren Street, February 4. Photo from Hudson Fire Department Facebook Page

HUDSON—Several families were forced from their apartments by an electrical fire at 726 Warren Street, the evening of February 4.

Columbia County Control summoned City of Hudson firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad to the multi-story building for an indoor smoke investigation at 9:10 p.m.

According to a report by Firefighter Justin Elliott about the incident on the City of Hudson Fire Department’s Facebook page, arriving firefighters entered and made their way to the basement apartment where they found a ceiling fire in a bathroom.

“The fire was quickly extinguished and the building was ventilated. Damage was contained to the basement apartment,” according to the report.

The Greenport Fire Department with its FAST team, Catskill Fire Department, City of Hudson Code Enforcement office, National Grid and Columbia County Fire Coordinators assisted crews on the scene. The Red Cross was called in to help the displaced families find temporary housing.

The origin of the fire was electrical. No one was injured.

Firefighters were back in service at 10:57 p.m.

Responding units included: Tower Ladder 32-55, Engine 30-25, Rescue Engine 27-42, Car 1 Chief Shawn Hoffman, Car 2 Asst. Chief Nicolas Pierro, Car 3 Asst. Chief Michael McCrady with mutual aid provided by Greenport Fire Department Rescue 25-45 and Catskill Tower Ladder 315, according to the Hudson Fire Department report.

DEC advises making heating safety a priority

Pictured is an oil spill from a home heating tank. Photo courtesy of NYSDEC

GHENT—The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) advises homeowners and landlords to put safety first when preparing for home heating needs this fall and winter. DEC reminds property owners to avoid connecting occupied buildings to wells producing natural gas because doing so can be dangerous and potentially deadly. In addition, DEC encouraged property owners that use oil for heat to inspect fuel storage tanks for potential leaks or spills before receiving shipments of fuel oil this heating season.

“Prioritizing safety this heating season is critically important to protect yourself, your loved ones, and property, and our environment. Heating costs are expected to rise this winter and supply disruptions are possible, but the potential costs of tempting fate through risky and unsafe fuel connections, and neglecting maintenance of heating units, is incalculably higher. DEC urges homeowners and landlords to use safe practices to protect themselves and others,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release.

DEC also reminds home and property owners to inspect heating fuel oil storage tanks for leaks or spills before ordering and receiving fuel oil.

More than two million homes in New York are heated by fuel oil. Each year, the DEC Spills Hotline receives hundreds of reports of fuel oil spills from home heating oil tanks. These spills result in basement contamination, damage to basement contents, contamination of groundwater, wells, and soils, and expensive cleanups rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance.

Annual inspections can prevent leaks and spills and protect property, public health, and the environment. Homeowners are advised to look for the following concerns and contact their fuel oil service provider if they see any of the items from the lists below.

For above-ground heating fuel oils storage tanks, look for:

*Bent, rusty, or wobbly tank legs or tank located on an unstable foundation

*Signs of rust, weeps, wet spots, or many dents on the tank’s surface

*Drips or any signs of leaks around the oil filter or valves

*Fuel oil lines not covered in a protective casing—even if under concrete

*Overhanging eaves where snow and ice could fall onto the tank

*Stains on the ground or strong oil odor around the tank

*Browning, dying, or loss of vegetation around the tank

*Silent overfill whistle while tank is being filled—ask fuel delivery person

*Fully or partially blocked tank vent from snow, ice, or insect nests

*Signs of spills around fill pipe or vent pipe

*Improperly sized vent pipes—ask fuel delivery person

*Cracked, stuck, or frozen fuel level gauges or signs of fuel around them.

For underground heating fuel oils storage tanks, look for:

*Water in the tank—ask fuel delivery person to check

*Oil or oil sheen in your basement sump or French drain

*Silent overfill whistle while tank is being filled—ask fuel delivery person

*Fully or partially blocked tank vent from snow, ice, or insect nests

*Signs of spills around fill pipe or vent pipe

*Well water has strange tastes or smells

*Complaints from neighbors of fuel oil smells

*Using more than normal amount of fuel.

Fuel oil spills or leaks should be reported to the DEC Spills Hotline at 1-800-457-7362. For more information on home heating oil tank stewardship, visit the Underground Heating Oil Tanks: A Homeowner’s Guide webpage on DEC’s website. www.dec.ny.gov

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