As volunteer firefighters raced to the scene of a house fire Tuesday night on Langford Road in North Collins, the first person to respond, Langford-New Oregon Fire Chief Charles Hohman, knew the house well.
It was his brother Paul’s home.
Charles Hohman did what any firefighter would do: When he arrived he made sure everyone was out, Assistant Fire Chief Peter J. Loretto said.
Then it was time to fight the blaze.
“You get a heightened sense of emergency, but we calmed him down,” Loretto said Wednesday. “We said, ‘We can’t lose you. We need you here.’ ”
Hohman led a large group of volunteers from 11 local fire companies who managed to save the home at 10552 Langford Road after responding to a 9:32 p.m. alarm Tuesday.
“Luckily, the roof is still on it,” Loretto said. “That fire had a really good start. There was real heavy fire on the second floor. They made a really good push on it, and they pushed the fire out of the house.”
The lack of hydrants in the area forced Langford-New Oregon fire officials to call for tankers and firefighters from 10 other volunteer departments: Boston, Lawtons, North Collins, Collins Center, Collins, Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, Mortons Corners, Brant, Evans Center and Eden.
No damage estimate or cause was available, but fire officials said the home sustained heavy fire damage and extensive water damage.