RAYMERTOWN, N.Y. – Three firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion after fighting a fire in Raymertown.
The call for the second-alarm fire came in around 4:30 p.m. Monday to 6 Sterup Dr. Firefighters originally thought it was a minor fire, but it quickly grew.
Two people were home at the time the fire began. They attempted to put out the fire themselves but were forced out the home.
Jacob Freedman said he was on a computer talking to his girlfriend when he felt the house shake.
“I didn’t think it was anything,” he said. “I thought it was something down the street.”
Freedman went to check with his father to find out what had occurred when his dad came out of the basement.
“He just went up to get a fire extinguisher and was like, ‘Hold on,’” Freedman described. “He went down, he took five steps, came back out saying ‘Call 911.’”
Volunteer fire fighters quickly arrived.
“We had heavy fire in the basement. Shortly upon arrival it extended up into the first floor,” Raymertown Fire Chief Ed Roberts said. “We had heavy fire in the attic at that time, so we had to cut vent holes in the roof.”
But crews were ordered out of the home due to fears the house might flash over.
“We we’re afraid of it flashing over,” Roberts continued. “We didn’t have all the holes cut at the time. The fire was just extended underneath the guys, so we had to pull everybody out.”
Freedman and his family watched as the fire continued to burn through their home. Heat was also a concern for firefighters.
Johnsonville Ambulance workers took care of firefighters who were overheating. Roberts said three firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.
“It gets extremely hot, and when you’re dealing with temperatures that are several hundred degrees inside a building, it makes it even worse,” he said.
Roberts doesn’t believe the house is a total loss and praised the volunteers for their heroic response.
“We don’t do it for the pay,” he said. “We do it for the love of the community.”
The Red Cross is assisting the family. Officials do not have a cause for the fire.