STUYVESANT FALLS — All cows were saved from a fire that leveled a barn in Stuyvesant Falls on Monday.
Quick thinking by bystanders at Wil-Roc Farm helped get the cows out of the area of the fire before firefighters arrived, Stuyvesant Falls fire chief Ed Roosa said. It was unclear how many cows were rescued, but there were close to 500 cows on the farm, Roosa said.
The barn was destroyed by fire, Roosa said.
Fifteen fire companies fought the blaze in temperatures that exceeded 95 degrees.
At about 2:55 p.m., Columbia County 911 sent Stuyvesant Falls and Stuyvesant fire companies to Wil-Roc Farms at 550 County Route 26A for a reported barn fire.
The first firefighters on the scene reported it was a working fire and requested mutual-aid assistance from neighboring companies, including a Battalion 4 tanker response.
Fire quickly engulfed the barn and spread quickly. Several loud bangs could be heard coming from the burning building. Smoke from the fire could be seen several miles away in Columbiaville, and in Coxsackie, in Greene County, across the Hudson River.
There were no reported injuries in fighting the fire, however, one firefighter from Stottville Fire Company, collapsed from the heat. The unidentified man was treated at the scene by Valatie Rescue Squad, Roosa said.
Fire officials kept requesting more water to the scene.
Four sites were set up to fill tankers. One was at a pond on the farm’s property, the second was at the Hudson River, a third was at a pond on County Route 25A, and a fourth was at a fire hydrant in the Village of Kinderhook.
A request was put in to Amtrak to slow its trains down in the area of the fill site at the Hudson River so fire trucks could safely cross the tracks.
With temperatures in the mid-90s, a rehab unit was set up so overheated firefighters could cool down. The rehab unit, which was supplied by the East Chatham Fire Company, is an air conditioned bus. There was also a misting fan set up and the ladies auxiliary was requested to the scene with cold beverages, Roosa said.
National Grid responded to cut power to the building.
Fire police closed Route 26A between Gibbons Road and Gypsy Point Road.
Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to other structures on the property.
The barn had been used mostly for storage, Roosa said.
Due to the intensity of the fire and the amount of damage, the cause of the fire was listed as undetermined, Roosa said.
Fire companies that either assisted at the scene or were placed on stand-by were: Stottville, Stockport, Hudson, Kinderhook, Valatie, Niverville, South Schodack, Tri-Village, North Chatham, East Chatham, West Ghent, Ghent, Schodack Landing, Greenport, Castleton, and Schodack Valley.
Assisting at the fire scene were: Valatie Rescue Squad, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and Columbia County Fire Coordinator’s Office.
All firefighters were back in service at 9:09 p.m.