Lack of hydrants hinders firefighters’ response in Colonie blaze


COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – All that remains now is a vacant shell of the former BBL Construction complex at 1204 Kings Road in Colonie.   

Stanford Heights Fire Chief Dave Kingsland says it took an enormous effort to put out the blaze.

“A fire this magnitude takes A lot of teamwork and a lot of hard work by every individual that’s there and it for what we had going on and the issues we had,” said Kingsland.

Deputy Fire Chief on scene, Fuller Road Fire Chief Mike Romano, said it was a difficult fire to put out. A four-alarm response was triggered around 1:30 p.m. and nearly a dozen or more neighboring fire stations with tankers of water came to the help battle the blaze. 

“The problem we run into here out here in the very west end of the town of Colonie, there’s no hydrants, this as you can see is a tanker operation. We laid over a mile of supply line to get water to this fire, which takes a long time,” said Romano.

Kingsland says the building is believed to a repair shop for BBL and that many flammable gases and chemicals stored on site is what caused multiple explosions. Colonie police say the fire was caused by cutting in a maintenance area of the building. They say the fire appears to be accidental and not caused by any criminal acts. Yet, it remains under investigation.

For their safety crews were forced back and only able to attack the fire from outside the building. But the explosions and heat were not the only problem they faced that day, but a lack of fire hydrants in the immediate area as well.

Latham Water Superintendent John Frazer says without a significant investment in the area there is no immediate solution. 

“Drinking water system is first and foremost to provide drinking water to residents, fire protection is secondary,” said Frazer.

NEWS10 has reached out to BBL to discuss the inferno and the chemical explosions that destroyed their building and are awaiting a response.

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