Schenectady County

Religious display blamed for Laurel Avenue blaze

A morning fire that did extensive damage to a Laurel Avenue home is believed to have been sparked by
PHOTOGRAPHER:

A morning fire that did extensive damage to a Laurel Avenue home is believed to have been sparked by a front-porch religious display, officials said this afternoon.

Firefighters were called to 14 Laurel Ave. just after 9:30 a.m. after the resident reported fire on his porch. The man tried to put it out himself, but couldn’t, deputy fire chief Scott Doherty said.

The home was well involved in flames by the time firefighters arrived, flames and smoke showed on the first floor. The blaze was under control in about 45 minutes, but not before extensive damage was done.

Two people lived in the home. They had an enclosed front porch with a religious display that included an alter with oils and incense, Doherty said.

County records show the home is owned by Rahini Surijpaul.

In all, 17 firefighters fought the blaze, with the Scotia and Niskayuna fire departments placed on standby.

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