COLONIE — A large fire broke out at a Colonie-based construction company Friday afternoon, causing intense flames and a series of explosions caused by flammable liquids stored in containers there, fire officials said.
Firefighters from around the area descended on the company to help put out the blaze.
The fire broke out at approximately 1:30 p.m. at BBL Carlton, a construction company located at 1204 Kings Road in the Albany Pine Bush Area. Approximately 12 departments responded, including nine agencies from the town of Colonie, according to Michael Romano, chief of the Fuller Road Fire Department, who led the response.
Crews arrived on scene to intense flames and smoke billowing from the building, Romano said. Firefighters were forced to pull back their attack due to a number of explosions caused by containers containing flammable liquids like propane and acetylene.
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“There was a lot of acetylene and a lot of flammable liquids in there, so we incurred a high amount of heat and explosions in a short period of time,” Romano said. “For the safety of our men, we withdrew the men and started an exterior attack, which is where we stayed since.”
No first responders were injured, but an employee was taken to the hospital after inhaling smoke while trying to control the fire, Romano said.
The cause for the fire remains unclear. Romano, however, said the fire appears to have started in a bay inside the building where a number of employees were working.
A lack of fire hydrants also made fight the fire difficult, said Romano. Around half a dozen tanker trucks carrying approximately 3,000 gallons of water had to rotate in and out of the scene while responders laid more than a mile of hose to the nearest hydrant, which is located at the corner of Morris and Kings roads.
Crews were able to establish a steady stream of water and the fire was mostly under control by 3:30 p.m., Romano said.
A number of tanker trucks continued to rotate in and out of the scene around 4 p.m., including those from Albany International Airport and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna.
Departments from Rotterdam, Altamont, Albany and Guilderland were also at the scene.
“The problem we run into out here in the very west end of the town of Colonie is that there’s no hydrants,” Romano said. “We laid over a mile of supply line to get water to this fire, which takes a long time.”
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.