Schenectady County

Three rescued from burning Schenectady house

Firefighters rescued two adults and a baby trapped behind a door that was nailed shut inside a burni
Rashawn Harris of 1110 Second Ave. in Schenectady leads a dog from his home after a fire Tuesday morning.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Rashawn Harris of 1110 Second Ave. in Schenectady leads a dog from his home after a fire Tuesday morning.

Firefighters rescued two adults and a baby trapped behind a door that was nailed shut inside a burning two-family house on Second Avenue this morning.

Police said the fire at 1110 Second Ave. was deliberately set and is under investigation. The 37-year-old occupant of the house’s first floor sustained minor injuries trying to escape. She was treated at the scene. Her name was not available.

Deputy Fire Chief Raymond Senecal said the fire began on the front porch and had engulfed the front of the house up to the second floor by the time firefighters arrived shortly after 6 a.m.

The first-floor occupant was outside when firefighters arrived and told them people were still inside the burning house, Senecal said.

“She is screaming there are people in house. We did not know they were trapped, but we concentrated our efforts on extricating them,” he said.

While one fire crew fought the fire, others tried to enter the house from the rear, Senecal said. They found the nailed-shut door on the first floor, he said. The second floor rear door also was nailed shut.

Using axes, they took down the door and found trapped behind it a 10-month-old baby, a 19-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man, Senecal said. The people, who came from upstairs, were unharmed. Their names were not available.

Senecal said the entire building was filled with heavy smoke.

“It could have been a whole different story in two or three minutes,” he said.

Senecal said the occupants knew the doors were nailed shut. He said the reason was security.

“They said they had been broken into in the past; it almost cost them their lives,” he said.

The house received some fire, smoke and water damage but is salvageable, Senecal said. Firefighters took about 15 minutes to put out the fire, he said.

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