Newton Abbott’s FAST (Firefighter Assist and Search Team) was requested into West Seneca on Monday, March 9 in the early morning hours for a reported house fire. Initial reports indicated heavy fire conditions in a dwelling, with a trapped occupant. The fire soon spread to a neighboring house, and early efforts to fight the blaze were hampered by snow-obscured hydrants.
On arrival, Newton Abbott crews were immediately reassigned to make the initial attack on the second residence, and stretched a dry line into the first floor. Once a water supply was established, the crew, led by Captain Jordan Pede, pushed into the second floor, finding moderate smoke conditions. Fire was found in the attic crawl space over a bedroom closet, and quickly extinguished. The resident had already escaped the home, and was waiting outside when the team made entry.
After extensive overhaul, Newton Abbott was relieved by crews from other companies, and obtained fresh bottles of air. A second assignment was received, to overhaul the original fire building, searching for fire spread in void spaces in the attic ceiling, and second floor. Following this, a team from Newton Abbott cut one of several roof ventilation holes, to search for fire spread.
The occupant of the original fire building did unfortunately succumb to the lethal conditions in the residence, and the scene was eventually left in the hands of West Seneca and Erie County fire investigators.