EARLTON — A large vacant house was destroyed by fire on Saturday afternoon in Earlton, fire officials said.
Eleven fire companies from Greene and Albany counties, were involved in fighting the stubborn blaze, either at the scene, or on standby.
At about 4 p.m., Greene County 911 sent Earlton Fire Department to 180 Gayhead Earlton Road, after receiving several reports from passing motorists, that a building was on fire.
The first firefighters to arrive reported the structure was completely engulfed in flames.
“It was a tough fire to fight,” Earlton Fire Chief Pat Donovan said Monday. “It was a large, vacant structure that was completely surrounded by very thick vegetation,” Donovan said.
The condition of the house made fighting the fire more difficult, as the building has been decaying for a long time, Donovan said.
He estimated that the house has been vacant for more than 10 years.
Earlton fire officials put in a request for mutual aid from neighboring fire departments.
A site was established at a pond on Gayhead Earlton Road to fill tankers, which brought water to several portable pools set up at the fire scene to pump water, Donovan said.
Fire police closed the road to traffic while emergency crews worked.
Thick black smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away.
Medway-Grapeville Fire Department arrived with its rehab trailer. The trailer was used by paramedics during the incident.
Additional manpower was requested to respond to the scene.
There were no reported injuries to firefighters, Donovan said.
The fire took nearly six hours to put out, with most mutual-aid companies being released, just before 10 p.m.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. It is being handled by the Greene County Fire Investigation Team, Donovan said.
Fire companies that assisted Earlton at the scene included: Medway-Grapeville, Greenville, Coxsackie Hose Co. No. 3, New Baltimore and West Athens.
Fire companies placed on standby included: Athens, D.M. Hamilton, Coeymans, and Westerlo.
Also assisting at the scene were Coxsackie Amkbulance, Greenville Ambulance, Greene County Paramedics, state police, and the Greene County Fire Coordinator’s Office.