Fire spares couple’s apartment while awaiting birth at hospital
SARATOGA SPRINGS While firefighters battled a fast-moving fire in an apartment house at 79 Ballston Ave., one of the residents was giving birth to a baby girl at Saratoga Hospital.
Ryan Pierce, 27, and Sarah Attanasio, 26, lived in one of the four apartments in the converted house at the corner of Ballston Avenue and South Street.
Their daughter, Adelynn, was born at the hospital Thursday night, not long after they were informed the building was on fire.
Cecelia Monaco, who owns the small apartment building with her husband, James, said at first the young couple was devastated, thinking they lost all their belongings in the fire.
Monaco said two of the apartments were heavily damaged by fire and water in the 9:15 p.m. Thursday blaze but the apartment occupied by Pierce and Attanasio was untouched.
“It’s totally a miracle,” Monaco said. “I expected to see a disaster.”
But when Attanasio’s mother brought her into the apartment Friday morning she was shocked.
There was no fire or water damage or even any smoke smell, Monaco said.
“I was totally amazed,” she said. She said all the baby shower gifts and all the couple’s belongings were undamaged.
No one was in any of the apartments at the time of the fire and there were no injuries among the firefighters.
The cause of the blaze that left four people without homes is thought to be electrical. Police and fire investigators discovered an electrical line that went from the basement electrical panel box to a second floor panel box had failed, city police said Friday. The line failed in a section of ceiling between the first and second floors, according to the investigators.
Monaco said the house was insured. She said she has relatives who are contractors and they are installing a temporary roof on the house, which dates from the 1920s.
“We are planning to rebuild, we are very thankful for that,” she said.
She said the new parents and the two other tenants — a man and a woman who lived alone in two of the other apartments — have all found temporary lodging with relatives or friends.
When the Saratoga Springs Fire Department arrived at the scene at 9:15 p.m. Thursday, they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the second and third floors of the three-story building.
Firefighters immediately began attacking the fire and called in reinforcements. By 10 p.m., the fire had been brought under control and by 10:30 p.m. it had been extinguished, according to a police report.
The second and third floors received extensive fire damage. The first floor took extensive smoke and water damage.
Police closed down Ballston Avenue, South Street, and Lincoln Avenue in the area of the fire until early Friday morning.