Albany office building destroyed by fire -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany office building destroyed by fire

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It doesn't appear anyone was in the building at the time, but one firefighter suffered serious foot injuries while battling the spectacular blaze that took firefighters almost 90 minutes to put out.

When Albany Firefighters arrived, the office building at 413 West Flint Avenue already had flames and smoke coming through the roof. They threw everything they had at it.

"We had probably 15 to 20 firefighters at one time here," Fire Chief James Carswell said. "We had three engines and an aerial truck. Literally at one time we were flowing close to 1500 gallons a minute. So we are talking about hundreds of thousands of gallons."

On one side of the office building is the Hudson Malone Towers, but it was never in danger. Firefighters though did quickly evacuate the Dougherty Blueprinting business on the other side, and kept water on that building as the fire raged just yards away. Those employees were shocked how quickly the fire grew.

"Definitely our boss was very worried. But they told us to get out and we got out," said Susana Leveson.

Soon flames and thick smoke were raging through the roof. Firefighters kicked in several locked office doors inside the building, but found no one, and there were no cars in the parking lot.

As they used their aerial truck to blast water down inside the building, a firefighter, Adam Wall, had his feet caught in the hydraulics that raises and moves the ladder with the hose attachment. Wall had to be freed from the equipment, and gently handed down off the fire truck as the fire raged behind him and the emergency crews rescuing Wall. Wall was conscious and communicating with his colleagues.

"We have transported him to the hospital. Preliminary assessment is he injured both feet," Chief Carswell said.

It was about 90 minutes before the flames were extinguished, and firefighters could go inside the building to try to determine the cause of the blaze. Early speculation was that the cause could be electrical.

The building was a total loss. Firefighter Wall has at least one broken foot. He was treated and released at the hospital, and will see Doctors again Tuesday.


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