Hudson Falls fire

Firefighters pour water on a smoldering house on John Street in Hudson Falls early Friday.

Don Lehman, dlehman@poststar.com

While most of us were tucked in our warm beds early Friday, sleeping or listening to winds howling outside, firefighters from around the region were rushing to a house fire in Hudson Falls.

There is never a good time to fight a house fire, but early morning on the coldest, windiest morning of the season is undoubtedly one of the worst times. Winds whipped and fed the fire. Water that was poured onto the building froze when it ran onto John Street, turning it very slick.

It actually got colder as the morning wore on.

I got there nearly two hours after the 4 a.m. call went out, and I was freezing within five minutes. Many of the Hudson Falls firefighters spent more than 12 hours on scene. I could go back to my warm car to update my online story. They stayed out in the elements, many wet from water blown all around by the wind.

Unfortunately, we are heading into the busy season for house fires, as cold temperatures kickstart heating systems that haven't been maintained and fires are started in woodstoves and fireplaces where chimneys haven't been cleaned.

There was no initial indication that a heating system problem was blamed for Friday's fire. But now is the time to get an expert to clean and maintain your system, and we can all take the simple steps of making sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order, before we get into winter.

-- Don Lehman

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Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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