By: Lisa Martone
ALBANY, N.Y. – Firefighters spent three hours battling a house fire on 1st Street in Albany on Tuesday afternoon, before finally demolishing the home due to the extent of the damage.
Officials closed down 1st Street between Henry Johnson and Lexington as they fought the fire at 232 1st Street.
Officials say the home is a total loss and in danger of collapsing. The fire is believed to have started in the back of the home, spreading to the home's upper levels. Firefighters say they faced challenges in fighting the flames since the homeowner had belongings piled from floor to ceiling. There were piles of clothing, bags of cans, and furniture blocking their entry -- and it may have been more fuel for the fire.
They say no one was inside at the time of the fire, and no one was injured.
By 7:30 p.m. the fire was under control, but hot spots continued to spark up throughout the evening. The home was demolished despite the hot spots because there was just no other way to ensure the flames would be fully extinguished.
The homeowner, Doris Coles, looked on as her home burned.
"All I can do is watch," she said.
She says she had a lot of her belongings on the bottom floor of the home, but that she was in the process of clearing some items out.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but state fire inspectors have been on the scene and will be throughout the night.