A woman and her baby escaped a Monday afternoon fire that destroyed a house in Duanesburg, fire officials said.
The fire broke out sometime before 1 p.m. at 1363 Maben Road. The woman was sleeping with her baby on the second floor when she awoke to the baby crying and smoke in the room. She grabbed the baby and fled the home, Schenectady County Fire Coordinator John Nuzback said.
“She had trouble going down the stairs,” he said on scene. “She couldn’t see very well.”
When they got out, she could see that the windows were black on the right side of the first floor, Nuzback said.
In all, five people lived in the home, he said, but only the woman and baby were home. No one was injured.
It was one of two Schenectady County homes to be damaged by fire Monday afternoon. About an hour after the Duanesburg call, firefighters were called to a home at 825 Sacandaga Road in Glenville.
No one was home at the time of the Glenville fire, officials there said, and a dog escaped unharmed.
The Duanesburg fire was a total loss. One section of the home burned to the ground, and the roof and interior walls of the rest of the house were destroyed as well.
“It was well involved when the fire department got here,” Nuzback said.
Two chimneys still stood, but Nuzback said firefighters were preparing to knock them down to prevent them from collapsing unexpectedly and injuring investigators.
Two carved pumpkins still sat at the home’s front door.
Firefighters used a combination of water and a foam substance to extinguish the flames, and the foam built up on the small lawn as they sprayed.
Nuzback said later that investigators ruled the cause of the Duanesburg fire to be accidental, likely electrical in nature.
The home sat on a ridge near Interstate 88, and once the flames spread, the smoke rising into the clear blue sky was an unmistakable signal visible as far away as Schenectady.
The afternoon wind helped carry that smoke and made firefighting more difficult, Nuzback said. “We’ve got a strong westerly wind here and that fanned the thing,” he said.
The firefighting operation was led by the Duanesburg Fire Department, with assistance from several surrounding departments.
Though they broke out at close to the same time, the Duanesburg and Glenville fires were far enough away from each other that neither one impacted firefighting operations at the other, officials said.
The damaged Glenville house is home to a family with three boys, officials said.
Around 2 p.m., a neighbor reported it was on fire. Firefighters from Glenville Hill and surrounding departments responded, and were able to confine the flames to the home’s second floor, officials said, though the metal roof hampered their efforts. There was smoke and water damage to the first floor.
The dog escaped when firefighters arrived and opened a door. Two cats were believed to be outside at the time of the fire.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette: