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North Albany home lost to blaze

Blaze guts north Albany home

Firefighters battled a fire at 2615 Elton St. on Thursday. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

Firefighters battled a fire at 2615 Elton St. on Thursday. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

ALBANY — Firefighters responded to a “fully involved” blaze at 2615 Elton St. Thursday morning, fire officials say. According to James Carswell, Albany fire chief, while the fire caused no loss of life or injuries, firefighters were unable to save the building or any of its contents.

Carswell said firefighters arrived at the scene at 12:46 a.m. after a neighbor called 911 to report the fire.

“It was a fully involved fire,” Carswell said, “with flames coming up through the roof.”

Carswell said the residence was set off far enough from the road that firefighters were forced to employ an “extended lay” of hose, dragging them across the front yard of the residence. In addition, the roof of the home was lined with a certain kind of shingles that impeded attempts to get water to the fire.

“There were a number of issues we encountered in fighting this fire,” Carswell said, “We knew almost from the start that we couldn’t save the home, but we had no way of knowing if someone were inside.”

Firefighters used about 3,000 gallons of water and it took more than an hour to get the blaze under control, Carswell said.

A frying pan was later discovered on the kitchen stove with the burner turned to “high,” Carswell said, and the homeowner and resident, Carlene Kemp, told firefighters she had been cooking french fries before she left the house. Officials say Kemp was not at the home when the fire was reported.

“Most people don’t realize that flames from a kitchen grease fire can travel right up the ventilator to the attic,” Carswell said.

The Albany Fire Department’s initial estimate of the home’s value previous to the fire was $150,000, with about $14,000 in contents, officials say.