Delmar house fire accidental

A structure fire in Delmar was contained on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 16, after four area fire companies responded to the blaze.

The home at 34 Darnley Green near the Route 32 bypass caught on fire, but the cause is still under investigation, according to fire officials. Bethlehem Police are currently ruling out that the fire was intentional.

Right now it's not ruled suspicious, said Lt. Thomas Heffernan of the Bethlehem Police Department.

No one was hurt during the incident, according to police.

Delmar Fire Chief Gregg Gould said the fire was contained in about 45 minutes but that because of a brush fire in Slingerlands during the same time, teams of firefighters were spread thin throughout the town.

"Because of the other situation our normal pool of resources was limited," Gould said, who added that it appeared the fire began on the back porch and that there was extensive damage to the back of the house as well as the roof and attic.

"They disposed of cigarettes in a plastic Folgers coffee can," Gould said.

"There was a grill with a propane tank next to it the tank was on and the gas lines burned."

Gould said the tank did not explode but that the propane accelerated the fire, which he believed may have been caused from the cigarette can but is still under investigation.

Elsmere, Delmar, Slingerlands and North Bethlehem fire departments all responded on the scene, as did the Delmar Rescue Squad and a Westmere FAST team, which is a firefighter assistance and search team. Assistant Fire Chief Dan Ryan and fire officer Mark Dorsey from the Delmar Fire Department were on the scene overseeing the fire's containment.

Gould said that in addition to the ladder truck from Westmere's team, area fire crews had four engine trucks and a ladder truck on the scene.

The house is listed as belonging to Betty A. and Michael Harrison, but the American Red Cross was not contacted as area family and friends are said to be taking care of the family's needs, according to Gould.


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