N.Y. state firefighter injured by broken hose

Copyright 2005 The Hearst Corporation
The Times Union (Albany, New York) 
Firefighter injured as crews raced to prevent explosion in building 
Staff Writer  

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. — A fire at an animal feed mill sent more than half a dozen fire crews screaming toward Northeast Industrial Park Thursday morning fearing the potential for an explosion.

In the end, the fire was confined to a small area inside the massive cement building. One volunteer firefighter from Altamont broke his leg when a hose snapped free after it was run over by a truck.

The firefighter, Timothy McIntyre, who is also Altamont's superintendent of public works, was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital to be treated for an apparent broken leg, said Dan Madison, chief of the Altamont Fire Department.

The fire started just before 10 a.m. in a machine that processes grain into pellets for livestock feed, said Josh Lare, chief of the Guilderland Center Fire Department.

The machine and building are owned by Fitchburg, Mass.,-based United Cooperative Farmers, Inc, according to the town assessor's office. Though the property formerly owned by Agway is surrounded by the industrial park and is not technically part of it.

The mill property is located near the back of the park, Lare said. Park security denied a reporter access to the scene.

Lare said firefighters quickly ventilated the mill building by opening windows and doors to help avoid the potential for an explosion, which can occur if tiny airborne grain particles are ignited with a stray spark.

Some of the feed product inside the machine also caught fire, but it was under control in about 10 minutes, Lare said.

McIntyre was injured while connecting a hose to a fire truck. A truck not affiliated with any of the rescue crews ran over the line, snapping it from the truck and knocking McIntyre down, his chief said.

Tim Nanninga, a clerk at the facility, said the damage wasn't extensive and the danger limited because the fire was contained.

"It turned out very well," he said. "For what could have happened, it went all right."

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