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Adam Shinder/Recorder staff Members of the Amsterdam Fire Department battle a blaze Thursday night at 65 Academy St. The AFD responded to a call with reports of an attic fire at that address that came in just after 9:15 p.m.

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Home owned by firefighter damaged by blaze

Friday, August 16, 2013 - Updated: 4:08 AM

By HEATHER NELLIS

Recorder News Staff

A fire broke out at a vacant two-family apartment building owned by an Amsterdam firefighter Thursday night, officials said.

The call came in for a structure fire at 65 Academy St. at approximately 9:15 p.m. Firefighters knocked down the blaze by 10:41 p.m., isolating fire damage to the roof and cockloft, but they were still assessing the extent of the damage at The Recorder's press time.

There were no reported injuries.

Chief Richard Liberti said the cause of the fire is currently unknown, but the department is investigating the incident. He confirmed the structure is owned by one of his firefighters.

Tax parcel data on Montgomery County's website says the structure is owned by Timothy J. Miller.

Union Street residents Norbert and Stacy Santiago were at the scene. They said they lived in the upstairs apartment at 65 Academy St. with their seven children for about 3.5 years, until about three weeks ago.

"We could have been up there," Stacy Santiago said, crying.

Liberti said upon arrival, the first firefighters saw smoke and flames out of the eaves of the structure.

"It was difficult because there were only six men to start with," Liberti said, adding the firefighters called for a second and third alarm for two extra shifts, and the chief called in another when he arrived at the scene.

"We tried to get it out from the exterior, but we had to make an interior attack and pull from the ceiling," Liberti said.

Liberti said there were no other issues at the scene, but police officers did ticket a motorist who drove over a fire hose attached to a hydrant, a violation.

     

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