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Wave of fires surges through Greene County

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    First responders battling flames in Athens Saturday morning.
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    Contributed by John C. MillerA family of five lost their home in Athens Saturday morning.
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    Several fire departments responded to a scene in Athens Saturday morning.
March 11, 2019 11:41 pm Updated: March 12, 2019 08:34 am


First responders battled flames at several residences and one business over a busy weekend.


A family of five escaped an electrical fire, unscathed, Saturday morning, but two pets perished, according to fire officials.

The family was able to rescue their dogs but lost two pet rabbits in the fire, Athens Fire Chief Dave Disbrow said.

First responders were called to the scene at 52 Union Street at 9:46 a.m.

“It started in the basement in the electrical box,” Disbrow said.

The fire and efforts to put it out caused extensive damage to the home, Disbrow said.

“With the water and smoke damage, everything in it is a total loss for them,” he said.

The property is owned by Richard Thurman, according to Greene County property records.

The American Red Cross is providing necessities such as shelter, food, and clothing for two adults and three children ages 5, 12 and 15, according to a statement.

“Volunteers also offered emotional support and comfort kits containing personal care items and stuffed animals for the children,” according to the statement.

Athens, West Athens, Catskill, Coxsackie, Hudson and Greenport fire departments responded to the scene.


A family of nine was driven from their home by a fire at their Coxsackie residence Sunday night, fire officials said.

The family’s dog, five snakes and 12 of their cats were rescued, Fire Chief Shawn Burdick said.

“There is one cat we haven’t been able to locate,” he said, adding that the animal may have run off during the fire.

First responders were called to the scene at 114 Martin Drive at 7:22 p.m.

One of the home’s occupants was taken to a local hospital for asthma complications, Burdick said.

Burdick did not know which hospital the patient was taken to.

“The fire started in the chimney and wood stove area,” Burdick said.

The Red Cross is assisting five adults and four children ages 11, 3, 3, and 1 after the fire by providing essential items such as food, shelter and clothing, according to a statement.

The family can make repairs to the home, Burdick said.

“One of the side walls burned up,” he said.

The property is owned by Kenneth Drobner Jr., according to Greene County property records.

Coxsackie, Athens, New Baltimore, Earlton and Medway-Grapeville fire departments responded to the scene.

back at it

Coxsackie firefighters were back at it Monday morning, responding to a reported structure fire at McDonald’s restaurant, located on Route 9W, at 5:50 a.m.

The restaurant manager was alone inside the building at the time, Burdick said.

“The manager was there getting ready to start the shift,” he said, adding she was uninjured.

The fire was contained to the kitchen, Burdick said.

“It was an appliance fire in the kitchen,” he said. “It was contained to the area of origin.”

The restaurant was closed Monday and will remained shut until repairs are completed, Burdick said.

“Gas has been shut off to the building.” he said.

McDonald’s declined to comment on the fire.

Coxsackie, New Baltimore and Athens fire departments responded to the scene.