Correction: A previous story gave the wrong address of the house, which is at 945 Glendale Place, Schenectady.
SCHENECTADY — Neighbors helped rescue a Glendale Place resident a from his burning home Wednesday morning, officials said.
The fire erupted sometime before 7 a.m. at the corner of Glendale and Fifth Avenue. A resident neighbors know only as “Ricky,” was taken by ambulance to Albany Medical Center and then sent on to Westchester Medical Center’s burn unit, fire officials said. An update on his condition was not available later.
Marty Cohen and his son-in-law Matt Burge were the first people to arrive at the home after being alerted to the fire by another neighbor, Cohen said.
“I just knocked on the door calling for the gentleman, got no response and we decided to kick his door in,” Cohen said.
Photos from the scene of a two-alarm fire at 945 Glendale Place, Schenectady, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Provided by Alex Kovarovic)
They found the occupant just behind the door; the door fell on top of him.
As they pulled the unresponsive man out, the first firefighters arrived.
It took about a half-hour for firefighters to get the blaze under control, officials said. Assistant Fire Chief Michael Gillespie said later Wednesday that the investigation continued and was expected to wrap up soon. However, he added that everything they had seen so far pointed to an accidental cause.
Neighbors knew the home’s occupant, who was in his 60s or 70s, as a disabled veteran; they believed he served in Vietnam. He got around on crutches due to a missing leg, neighbors said.
A ramp is built onto the front of the house, and an American flag was visible in a window on Wednesday.
“He’s a war veteran — a very good guy,” Cohen said. “Everybody in the whole neighborhood knows him. He’s been there 30 to 40 years.”
Property records indicate the house is owned by Richard Batcher. A Rick Batcher, of Schenectady, wrote a letter to The Daily Gazette in 2004, in which he spoke of serving in Vietnam and the joy he felt seeing the support troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan received at that time.