from Chatham Fire Department:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On 5/13/18 at 08:26 Columbia County 911 dispatched the Chatham Fire Department and under pre-planned automatic aid Ghent Fire Department to a fire alarm activation at the Chatham Manor Apartments, located at 18 School St., Village of Chatham. Additionally, 911 dispatched the Chatham Rescue Squad for a medical alarm at the same location. Chatham Manor Apartments are a 32 apartment, complex housing elderly and handicapped residents.
First alarm assignment brought Chatham Cars 1,2 and 3 with Ladder 58-1, and Chatham Engine 58-21 as well as Ghent Engine 22-43. First arriving Chief observed a smoke condition on the first floor of the apartment building. A Task Force Alarm was struck which brought additional firefighters from Ghent, Valatie, Niverville and East Chatham.
Chatham Firefighters made an initial attack into apartment 7 on the first floor experiencing a heavy fire load. The fire was knocked down and search crews were able to locate a wheelchair bound victim trapped inside the apartment. Crews extricated the victim who was in grave condition. He was treated by Chatham Rescue and relayed to a landing zone at the Chatham fairgrounds where the victim was flown to Westchester Medical Center. The burn victim is listed in critical condition as of the time of this release.
Firefighters were able to complete a thorough search of the entire complex and located two other residents trapped in their apartments. In total 3 victims were rescued with two being transported.
The fire was contained to one apartment within the structure with heavy smoke damage to the rest of the complex. The Chatham Fire Task Force and Chatham Rescue were assisted at the scene by the Columbia County Fire Coordinators Office, Columbia County Emergency Management Office, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and Columbia County 911.
The EMO worked with Chatham Manor Management to relocated and assist all residents. In total 8 apartments are uninhabitable. 1 resident is place in another facility. Several were transferred to family residents.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by Chatham Fire Department, Columbia County Cause and Origin Team, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Homeland Security Office of Fire Prevention and Control.