SARATOGA — One person was confirmed dead after an early morning fire that significantly damaged a multiple-dwelling structure on Sarazen Street in Saratoga Springs Wednesday.
Officials at the scene did not identify the person who was pulled from the structure, saying only that the body was badly burned.
The structure comprised the addresses of 23, 25 and 27 Sarazen St. The deceased person was located in the middle unit, 25 Sarazen St.
According to Saratoga Springs Assistant Fire Chief Peter Shaw, the blaze was called in to firefighters at around 7:15 a.m. by neighbors and occupants of the structure. Fire destroyed the middle unit and spread into the attics of the homes on either side, along with a garage area where a car caught fire.
Firefighters were unable to enter the structure because of the extent of the flames. Rather, they were forced to fight it from outside the structure, Shaw said.
It took 25 firefighters, with help from three out-of-town companies, roughly an hour to extinguish the flames before they entered the structure and found the deceased person inside.
“Through investigation, calling around and so forth, we did confirm that there was indeed somebody missing,” Shaw said. “We had to call some neighbors and relatives and so forth to make sure that person was not staying at someone else’s house for the holidays or something like that.”
According to Shaw, the cause of the fire and where exactly it started were not clear as of Wednesday afternoon. He acknowledged there is an uptick in house fires this time of year, though cold weather is a bigger factor than the holidays.
“We’re into the heating season,” he said. “And with the heating season, we have those heating system problems. I’m not saying that’s what caused this, but we do see an uptick in fires during the cold weather because of various reasons: chimney fires, the use of space heaters, things like that, which aren’t usually checked.”
The Saratoga Springs Fire Department is investigating the fire, in cooperation with Saratoga Springs Police and the Saratoga County Cause & Origin Team. They are receiving assistance from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention.
The Daily Gazette will update this story as details become available.