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Caution: houses crossing

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— “Caution: houses crossing” isn’t a traffic warning you see very often but on Thursday, Feb. 9, that’s exactly what members of Colonie police and firefighter were telling motorists on their morning commutes.

One of two homes on Old Niskayuna Road was loaded onto a wheeled platform and rolled down the street to its new location at the town’s Municipal Training Center at 100 Wade Road around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. A foundation will be built underneath it to provide a permanent resting place.

“By bringing these two houses over, we’ve actually made a city street,” said Pete Lattanzio, fire services chief. “(The Municipal Training Center) has a mobile home on it, a four-way intersection and another vacant corner we hope to put a commercial building on.”

The homes, donated in 2009 by Peter Campito of Campito Properties, will be furnished like regular homes and give emergency responders training opportunities.

“This will give our EMS responders the opportunity to train in a very lifelike setting. Very often our buildings are empty … so there’s no things they’d run into on a regular basis,” said Lattanzio.

The houses, which used to be occupied until Campito decided to build on the property, will be furnished like a family actually lived there—dishes on the table, clothes in the closet, toys strewn by the stairway.

“In a real emergency, that’s what folks are going to have to deal with,” said Lattanzio. “The more that we can train our people, the better they’re going to be able to respond and react during an emergency.”

Keeping the firefighters and other first responders safe is also a priority, and these new homes will help ensure that happens.

“Ultimately, we want to make sure our people come home safe at the end of the day. The better training we can offer will prepare them for actual emergencies and allow them to operate more efficiently and safer,” said Lattanzio.

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