ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Fire officials say there have been many home and structure fires within the last few months, but there are preventative measures owners… and even potential buyers of properties can take.
John D’Alessandro of the Firefighter Association of the State of New York (FASNY) says that buyers need to be careful when purchasing a property.
“People buy real estate for investments. People buy real estate for themselves and their families to enjoy. You don’t want it to turn out to be the worst decision you ever made, “he said.
The Grand Street fire in Downtown Albany is one of many that have taken place across the capital region within the last six months. Of the four homes destroyed here, one was vacant, but Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan says the owner was intent on rehabbing and renting it out. She also says officials are still determining the cause of the fire.
“It’s unclear where the fire started, this fire is under investigation, so our fire department will take the lead on that,” she said. “But we’ll work with the state and the Albany Police Department to find the cause of this blaze.”
Other recent fires have damaged homes and commercial buildings that were just purchased a few days before-those incidents are still under investigation. That includes the massive fire at the former Doane Stuart School in Albany last month and the 2nd Avenue home in Troy that was later demolished in February.
Fire officials say that potential buyers must do their due diligence before purchasing high-risk-fire properties.
“Anybody purchasing property, whether it’s residential or commercial, should never just assume that it’s okay,” D’Alessandro said. “Prior to purchasing, if at all possible, have a qualified home inspector or building inspector go in and generate a report.”
From the report, potential buyers will better understand if electrical issues or heating filters need to be cleaned. D’Alessandro says one big mistake is just ignoring the problem.
“Those are really the two big things, especially in older structures, that a firefighter would be concerned about,” he said. “And could be the root cause of some kind of structure fire.”
Another concern is plugging modern technology into outlets that have not been updated.
“You know, we all adopt new technologies. Which means we’re plugging more things in an electrical system of a house or a commercial building,” he said.
Fire officials urge all potential buyers to take inspection reports seriously to help prevent an unexpected tragedy. And to also ensure fire and carbon monoxide alarms are installed on every property floor.