Fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of a blaze in a 10th-floor apartment at South Mall Towers Thursday afternoon, causing minor injuries to one tenant and sending others to the hospital with smoke inhalation.
Deputy Chief Francis Nerney said the fire started in a single bedroom unit in the 19-story building on South Pearl Street shortly after 4 p.m., prompting a full evacuation. The blaze tripped an automatic alarm and responding firefighters were able to knock down the flames in about 20 minutes, including use of the department’s hook-and-ladder truck to reach the blaze from the outside.
The flames shot more than two floors up the side of the building and cloaked the high rise in a black cloud of smoke.
One resident suffered burns to his hands after trying to put out the fire. Another two people received precautionary medical attention for smoke inhalation.
Nerney said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. He said the apartment where the blaze originated was gutted and several others suffered either smoke or water damage, but most residents would be able to return Thursday.
A person answering the phone at the high-rise deferred all questions to the property manager, who was not available for comment. The building houses low-income seniors.
The fire is the latest problem with the structure in a year. Last April, firefighters had to shut down a city block after bricks crumbled off the side of the building and fell to the sidewalk several stories below.
The bricks were part of a facade on the building, which was later determined to be structurally sound. No one was injured in that incident.
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Categories: Schenectady County