SCHENECTADY – Residents of two homes on Ward Avenue said Wednesday they’re really thankful to the person driving by their homes who honked their horn, alerting them to a fire at their homes.
Schenectady City firefighters responded at around 10:40 a.m. to 173 Ward Ave. to an original report of a brush fire 20 feet from the home, said Fire Chief Don Mareno. Smoke from the fire could be seen from Route 7 near Crosstown Plaza.
No injuries were reported.
Typically the department sends fire apparatus to cover brush fires but because of the drier weather lately, Mareno said they’ve been sending two.
However, upon arriving on scene additional crews were called in because the fire had spread to the left side of 173 Ward Ave. and into the house.
Neighbor Theresa Carr said was standing outside watching as crews battled the fire, which had also spread to her home at 169 Ward Ave., where she has lived for 27 years.
She was upstairs in the bathroom when she heard her son John Carr, who also lives with her, telling her to get out of the house.
“I was sleeping on the couch when I woke up and saw flames,” John Carr said.
He said he was able to get his car out of the driveway and away from the house before the fire caught onto it.
A woman who lives at 157 Ward Ave., who didn’t provide her name, said she heard someone honking their car horn and yelling “fire” and then noticed her fence was burning.
“Thank God that person drove by and honked their horn,” Theresa Carr said.
Mareno said the little white pollen floating around, which could be seen all over Ward Avenue is a great conductor for fires and may have led to the fire spreading quickly. He said over the weekend the city dealt with around five lawns next to each other being on fire due to the pollen spreading it.
Mareno said the fire was under control in about 20 minutes and out in around 35 minutes. When it’s warmer out Mareno said he has to keep an eye on his men, making sure they take breaks when needed and drink water.
He also said that with warmer temperatures ahead people should be cautious while enjoying the weather. He said no open burning while it’s dry and warm and to make sure to grill safely, including not having the grill near anything flammable.
Mareno said the fire is still under investigation.
Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @ByBriere.