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Fire on LaBarge Street in Hudson Falls caused by lithium ion batteries

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HUDSON FALLS — A fire that destroyed a residential building at 32 LaBarge St. on Saturday evening in Hudson Falls was caused by lithium ion batteries.

Washington County Fire Coordinator Glen Bristol said the batteries caught fire in the basement of the house.

Lithium ion batteries are known to be unstable, according to Hudson Falls Fire Chief Tom Bover.

“We believe that the batteries were in (remote-controlled) cars, but it was hard to tell because of the extensive damage,” Bover said.

He said it was unclear if the batteries had finished charging and were left on the charger, or if they were completely disconnected from anything.

The fire is not suspicious, according to village officials.

Bover’s fire department got the call around 6:30 p.m., and responded to the scene along with fire departments from Fort Edward, Bay Ridge, Kingsbury, South Queensbury, South Glens Falls, Queensbury Central, West Glens Falls, West Fort Ann and Argyle.

Bover said that it took firefighters approximately 10 hours to put the fire out and clear the scene, which is an abnormally long time.

“It was an old brick building, from ground to roof, with a false front with shingles,” he said.

This is the second fire in Hudson Falls in two weeks, Bover said.

Volunteers from the Northeastern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross are helping five people who were displaced. The Red Cross provided financial assistance for shelter, food and clothing to two adults, and three children ages 1, 4 and 6, who all lived at the house, according to a news release from the organization.

Additional aid came from the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Bover added.

Drew Wardle is a reporter for The Post-Star. You can contact him at 518-681-7343 or email him at dwardle@poststar.com.

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