MUTUAL AID — Pictured is the Scranton Fire Department’s ladder truck, which was utilized to fight the Chapel Glen Drive fire. Photos courtesy of Richard Regula.
HAMBURG — A blaze that engulfed a Hamburg home on the evening of Dec. 3 left two residents displaced, after the house was deemed unsafe for habitation.
The fire occurred at 74 Chapel Glen Drive in the village of Hamburg.
According to Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tim Moses, the homeowner was inside the house, when the blaze erupted. Although the official cause of the fire has not yet been released, Police Captain Michael Melisz said that “it appears that it may have started accidentally, in the house.”
Moses reported that his department received the initial call at 6:35 p.m., a timeline Melisz also confirmed for the police department.
The homeowner had vacated the house with her two dogs and fled to a nearby home. The neighbor then called for fire and police assistance.
Moses, who was the first to arrive on the scene, said that flames could already be seen coming from the rear of the house. He said it was later determined that the fire had originated in a back corner bedroom.
The first fire engine arrived on location within six minutes, and firefighters entered the structure, determining that there were no occupants.
Patrolman from the village police department arrived on the scene at 6:37 p.m. and stayed with the firefighters until after 9.
UP IN FLAMES — Pictured are the vehicles and personnel that responded to the scene of a Dec. 3 fire that destroyed a Chapel Glen Drive home.
“Four minutes after my guys went in, I pulled them out,” Moses said. At that point, the fire had spread across the entire attic space of the split-level home.
The fire chief confirmed that a ladder to the upper crawl space had been pulled down, prior to the beginning of the fire. The flames spread to the top of the house via this entryway.
“At that point, we went defensive,” Moses said. “We did exterior firefighting: protecting houses on either side of the fire.”
As the department worked to shield the homes nearby, water was also shot onto the blaze and eventually extinguished the fire.
The fire was brought under control within 40 minutes of the firefighters’ arrival. “At that time, it appeared to be a complete loss,” Melisz confirmed.
Moses said that he, the building inspector and Village Mayor Tom Moses deemed the house to be unsafe. “We are now working on emergency demolition,” he said.
The fire department confirmed that a brother and sister had lived in the home; neither sustained injuries, in the blaze.
The Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department was assisted at the scene by a ladder truck from the Scranton Volunteer Fire Company, a pumper from the Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Company and a pumper from the Armor Volunteer Fire Company. A pumper from the North Boston Volunteer Fire Company was on standby at the village fire hall.
“Great teamwork from all departments, as well as our own,” Tim Moses said. “The response time was excellent.”
The fire company remained on the scene until 9:15 p.m.
Both fire and police personnel expressed condolences for the homeowners’ loss, especially during the holiday season. “Our hearts go out to them,” Moses said. “It’s always a hard thing to see,” Melisz added.
The Hamburg Village Fire Department has been given a rating of 3 by the ISO’s Public Protection Classification Service. The rating scale goes from 1 – 10, with 1 being the best public protection and 10 being no recognized protection.