TROY, N.Y.(NEWS10) – The scene was anything but clean at the laundromat on 5th Avenue in Troy. As the air filled with thick smoke from the fire burning inside the building, some neighbors worried about whether they were exposed to hazardous materials in the smoky air.
DEC confirmed the department was not called to Checkerboard Laundry Mat and Dry on Wednesday night. According to the department, laundromats are not as hazardous as drycleaners, which contain more dangerous chemicals in the event of a fire.
But Eric Wisher, Troy Fire Union President, says firefighters on the scene made sure to remove any contaminants from their uniforms.
“That’s what we do. It takes, like today, it probably took them 8 hours and a couple of guys to do all the guys that worked with yesterday’s gear,” he said.
First responders also have self-contained breathing apparatuses to help fight the flames through the heavy smoke.
“It’s filled with compressed air. The air we’re breathing right now. It’s just compressed down into a bottle,” Wisher said. “It’s meant to last about an hour- [but] it doesn’t last long when you’re working. If you’re getting 20 to 25 minutes, you’re doing pretty good.”
The smoke is now gone as the investigation into what sparked the flames continues. Fire officials say there were no serious injuries.
“Everybody is doing good. We had one guy slightly injured -he went to the hospital. He’s at home resting now and doing well,” Wisher said.
According to officials, the laundromat and the apartment are considered a total loss and are set to be torn down on Wednesday.