Fire at Regency affects six apartments

GUILDERLAND — A fire at the Regency Park Apartments on Western Avenue on Sunday morning was caused by the improper disposal of charcoal, according to a release from the Guilderland Fire Chiefs Association.

The release describes events unfolding this way:

The Westmere Fire Department received a call reporting the fire shortly before 3:30 a.m. on May 4.

The fire was fully involved at the back of the three-story building by the time firefighters arrived. A hose was pulled to the rear of the apartments to attack the fire while a team began a search and evacuation of the building.

Chief Henry Smith said it took 45 minutes to bring the fire under control, according to the release.

Investigators determined that the fire started on the back porch of a third-floor apartment, and was due to the accidental or improper disposal of hot coals.

Six apartments were directly impacted by the fire and by smoke and water damage; the American Red Cross Association is assisting the victims.

“Cooking grills should only be used outdoors and placed away from the home,” said Smith in the release. “When you are done cooking with charcoals, let the coals completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container.”

The release said the layout and terrain of the apartment complex made fighting the fire a challenge because there was limited access for ladder trucks; firefighters used ground ladders and hoses.

The Westmere Fire Department was assisted by the Fort Hunter, Guilderland, Guilderland Center, McKownville, and North Bethlehem fire departments.

There were no injuries to residents or firefighters. A pet cat did not survive the fire.

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