LANSINGBURGH, N.Y. - Thick, black smoke billowing from the second floor could be seen from blocks away of 468 9th Avenue in Lansingburgh Sunday evening.
It was Dorothea Zuchniewicz's husband, a neighbor of the home, who first spotted the blaze around 5:30 Sunday evening before alerting Zuchniewicz of the fire.
Zuchniewicz tells NEWS10 they could see flames coming out of a bedroom window.
She said they ran to the house, her husband breaking down the front door. Both of them trying to get up the stairs to make sure the family of four was not at home. But Zuchniewicz tells NEWS10 the smoke and heat were just too intense.
"It was very, very frightening. I've never been that close to a fire before," Zuchniewicz said.
As for her actions, Zuchniewicz downplayed the danger. "There were no cars there but we just couldn't take that chance. It was just instinctive, to just go in and do what you have to do," she said.
Once firefighters arrived on scene, they used ladders and even a chainsaw to release some of the heat and get water on the flames.
In all, Fire Chief Tom Garrett said it took them about 45 minutes to put out the fire he called challenging.
Garret says three firefighters were blown down a flight of stairs as the result of a flash-over. "They are lucky they're not burned. The gas blew them down, the explosion blew them down the stairs," Garrett said.
Garrett said another firefighter also suffered minor injuries after falling off a ladder at the back of the home.
Garrett said it is too early to tell the cause of the fire, but explained it didn't appear to be suspicious.