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Icy conditions challenge firefighters

Jan 19, 2011 6:15 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="A home fire in Cairo is brought under control during storm on Tuesday, January 18. Photo by Claude Haton from the Daily Mail."][/caption]The icy blizzard mix yesterday, January 18, created unsafe driving conditions yesterday that were to blame for at least one local home fire yesterday, and likely involved in the other reported to date. The Daily Mail reports that a modular home in Cairo was destroyed by fire on Tuesday. No one was injured, but the home at 148 Pine Tree Lane, off Indian Ridge Road, was declared a total loss according to Cairo Hose Company Assistant Chief Ray Feml, who said the apparent cause of the fire was a malfunctioning furnace. Feml added that the slushy and dangerous road conditions were a “huge factor” in a slower-than-normal response time, with one firetruck even getting stuck in the icy, slushy mess when leaving the scene. In Columbia County, the Register-Star reports that an apartment fire in Greenport left two people homeless Tuesday afternoon. According to Greenport Fire Chief Gary Mazzacano, his outfit responded to a 3:44 p.m. report of heavy smoke coming from a downstairs apartment at the Ronsani Apartments complex at 71 Ten Broeck Ave. in Greenport, where a, "quick attack on the fire even with the inclement weather,” kept it from spreading to other apartments. The blaze damaged the living room and its contents, said the chief, with other parts of the apartment suffering heavy smoke damage. The apartment above also suffered smoke damage, he said. The fire has been labeled accidental and was apparently started when some clothes were left to dry on a heater. The tenants, a husband and his wife, were not home at the time but came back while thge fire was still being "engaged." Mazzacano said the Columbia County Fire Coordinator’s Office was on scene and issued a voucher for emergency clothes for the tenants through the county Fire Chiefs’ Association. During the incident Greenport fire received a call for an alarm going off at the new Kohl’s clothing store, which is not yet open. Crews were sent to investigate, but it turned out to be a false alarm.
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