Fire levels vacant business

GUILDERLAND — In the early hours of Monday morning, a vacant commercial building, at 3400 Carman Road, burned to the ground.

It was the second fire in the Fort Hunter Fire District to completely destroy a building within the last month. On Sept. 3, a vacant home at 3494 East Lydius Street burned down.

The fire on Carman Road, according to Bill Fleming, the assistant chief of the Fort Hunter Fire Department, was called in by a passerby around 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning.

By the time department members arrived, he said, the fire was “90-percent involved” and had to be fought in “defensive mode,” meaning attacking it from a safe distance, and trying to prevent it from spreading to other neighborhood buildings.

A house next door, however, lost its garage, containing a new car, and sustained some damage to its exterior.

“Our biggest goal was to save the house and minimize the damage to it,” Fleming said. “We also had a safety goal, and there were no injuries.”

The vacant building is shown on the town’s 2013 final assessment roll as belonging to Anthony Serafini, who could not be reached for comment; it was valued at $145,543.

Firefighters were still on the scene Tuesday morning, said Fleming, as were fire investigators from Guilderland.

Lieutenant Daniel McNally, a member of the Guilderland Police Department, handling the investigation, did not return calls for comment.

More Guilderland News

GUILDERLAND — Brenda McClaine, who was treasurer of the Guilderland Teachers’ Association when she stole over $100,000 from the union, no longer works for the Guilderland School District.

In exchange for her resignation, the school board agreed to withdraw the disciplinary charges the superintendent had filed against McClaine, to pay the district portion of her health insurance until June 30, 2015, and also to allow her two fifth-grade children to finish out their school year free of charge.

Guilderland High school Assistant Principal Ann-Marie McManus said the school wants to be the first stop for prevention and intervention when it comes to illegal drug use.

Brenda McClaine was a math teacher at Guilderland when she stole over $100,000 in union funds. She was sentenced last week to six months, served on weekends, so she will coninue working at the district office.