House destroyed in Hudson Falls fire

HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Firefighters had their work cut out for them this morning as they battled flames with gusts of wind at upwards of 40 MPH.

Despite their efforts, the house was destroyed and four people are now without a home.

“Oh my god this is horrible.”

That was Peter McCarthy’s reaction when he walked out of his front door Friday morning.

The home across the way 129 John Street was burning hotter by the second and rapidly spreading throughout the home.

Friday morning’s strong wind gusts making matters worse.

“It was heavily involved when we got here. Obviously, the wind helped out quite a bit,” John Santacroce, Assistant Fire Chief of the Hudson Falls Fire Department, said.

That would soon become the least of their worries.

Santacroce says the fire had a good head start on them. When they got to the home, a powerline attached to the house caught on fire and snapped. It fell down onto a truck, which delayed them from getting water on the fire.

“Well what went through my head was get the guys away from the truck,” Santacroce said. “We had to rely on mutual aid as soon as they got here to get water on the fire. We couldn’t do anything with the truck.”

Fortunately, the four people who lived here were all able to get out on their own.

One of them was Vernon Gibbs’ sister. The two of them actually grew up in this house.

“I own another house on Pender Street,” Gibbs said. “My tenant at 6:20 this morning texted me and said your sister’s house is on fire.”

He says three people had been taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and burns.

“Everyone’s good. Bryan’s the one that’s the worst.  My brother in law went back in to save his dog that was up on the second floor. Colby got burnt doing that,” Gibbs said. “I was told by my niece that the fire started just inside the door on the futon because she came down the stairs and that whole area was in a blaze right there.”

Santacroce says this is actually the second fire here in recent months.

Back in September, their shed caught fire.

“They had a large screen TV that was no longer being used, the sun was reflecting off of it and started some debris on fire,” Santacroce said. “At that fire, this gentleman had about $10,000 worth of Halloween decorations and things he did quite an extensive job on Halloween and he lost all that.”

A lot of loss for a family who gave so much.

“The memories are a big thing for them ya know, it’s sad for my sister losing everything,” Gibbs said.

“We have not determined a cause yet. This is going to be quite an investigation because of the condition of the structure,” Santacroce said.

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