Christmas presents saved in Schagticoke blaze

Posted at: 12/18/2012 11:46 AM
Updated at: 12/18/2012 12:42 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

SCHAGTICOKE - Fire damaged a Rensselaer County home just one week before Christmas, but crews managed to save some presents under a tree that went up in flames.

Firefighters say that salvaging Christmas presents was the least they can do for a family that just lost so many possessions in a fire.

Fortunately no one was home when flames broke out around 9 a.m. at a home on Route 67.

Fire crews said a malfunctioning wood stove in the basement sparked the blaze, which quickly spread to the living room upstairs.

Ornaments were still hang on the Christmas tree that was completely blackened.

After knocking down the fire, crews took the time to drag out a pile of wrapped presents from under the tree, which the renter says were mainly for his 11-year-old daughter.

"We're always looking to save what we can," said Hoosick Valley Fire Company Assistant Chief Kristopher Daurio. "It's an unfortunate circumstance. So whatever we can get, it's the best case scenario."

In this case, that included Christmas presents.

"Once we get it all knocked down and it's safe for us to go in, we'll start overhauling and looking at what we can get," Daurio said.

The renter who lived there said he's grateful that firefighters got some presents out and is still assessing what else can be saved.

The landlord is also providing an apartment for the father and daughter to move into right away.