Police: drunk firefighter responds to house fire, strikes officer
GUILDERLAND, N.Y. -- Flames broke out along a Curry Road home just after midnight, but what happened as firefighters arrived was completely unexpected.
Crews weren't just battling the fire -- an out of control driver made the scene even more hectic.
Police say they discovered the driver was a Stanford Heights Volunteer Fire Captain who was allegedly drunk driving.
While crews were battling the fire, a police officer handling traffic was hit by a car driven by Thomas Fortune, 42, a Stanford Heights captain.
Fortune allegedly plowed through the crowd, responding to the fire call. Police said after they managed to stop him -- they discovered his blood alcohol content was .15 percent, almost twice the legal limit.
Fortune was charged with DWI, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and failure to comply with lawful order. He is scheduled to appear in Guilderland Town Court May 20.
The officer that was hit was treated for an injury to his arm.
Meanwhile, fire crews were busy dealing with another problem.
"There's no water, no hydrants in the area, so we had to rely on tankers to supply us with the needed water to extinguish the fire," Fort Hudson Fire Chief Vincent Comparetta said.
While waiting for those other departments to arrive they even dipped into the family pool.
"We used water from the pool to help knock down fire on the back porch," Chief Compraretta said. "It just presents a problem of trying to control the fire and knocking it down rapidly."
Two people were home when the fire started. They smelled smoke and were able to make it out safely. The home is likely a total loss.
"The inside is gutted. It's gutted inside," Comparetta told NEWS10.
To give an idea of how intense the fire was, it melted the siding away from the nearby garage.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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