Schenectady County

Smoking blamed for Albany Street fire; family escapes unharmed

Mom and three children flee blaze, but family dog dies.

An early morning fire on Albany Street has been blamed on careless smoking, fire officials said today.

Firefighters were called to 1141 Albany St. just before 3:30 a.m. for a report of a fire in an upstairs apartment bedroom, deputy fire chief Scott Doherty said.

The resident reported waking up to see fire at the foot of her bed. She tried to put it out herself using water from a sink, but it grew too quickly, Doherty said.

She got herself and her three children, ages 2, 6 and 8, out safely. But a dog died in the fire.

An ashtray was found at the foot of the bed, where the fire began. The cause was blamed on careless smoking, Doherty said.

Doherty highlighted the resident’s attempt to put the fire out herself, saying anyone who sees a fire should call the fire department first.

Fire, he said, can double in size every minute.

“There definitely was time wasted,” Doherty said.

Firefighters arrived and were able to get the fire under control in about 30 minutes, Doherty said.

The fire, though, caused extensive damage to the building’s second floor. A first-floor apartment was vacant.

The building is expected to be able to be rehabilitated, Doherty said. The family was receiving shelter from the local Red Cross.

The owner of the building is listed as Khem Wattie Ali.

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