Fire engulfs vacant house in Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN – A pair of city firefighters suffered minor injuries battling an early morning blaze that engulfed a vacant house.

The fire began in the two-story, woodframe house at 104 W. Fulton St. at 11:55 p.m. Wednesday, city Fire Department Assistant Chief John Duesler said today.

“We had two minor injuries to firefighters,” Duesler said.

The firefighters, who were not identified, suffered a twisted knee and minor burns. He said the firefighters remained on duty today.

Duesler said the cause of the fire remains under investigation today. He said no one occupied the house at the time the fire was called into emergency services by two different neighbors. He said his department believes the house is currently owned by a bank, which wasn’t identified.

“There was heavy fire, smoke and water damage to both floors,” the assistant chief said.

Duesler said a preliminary investigation revealed the fire started on the first floor, in the southeast corner of the rear stairwell area. The house is currently uninhabitable, he said.

All off-duty city firefighters were called to the scene and an engine from the Gloversville Fire Department was dispatched. City police and Department of Public Works crews also were at the scene.

Duesler said the fire was not quite fully involved when units arrived, but there was heavy smoke emanating from the house.

“It took awhile to get it under control,” he said, and units remained at the scene until about 5:30 a.m. today.

Duesler said the only barrier to fighting the fire was the low temperatures, which were around zero near midnight.