SCHENECTADY – A fire just after 8 a.m. Wednesday morning at a rooming house at 22 1/2 Union Avenue displaced six people, including one person taken to the hospital.
“On arrival, we had heavy fire and smoke from the front of the building,” Assistant Fire Chief Donald Mareno said. “We were evacuating people from the house. There was one injury.”
It was contained to the room where it started and was extinguished within 20 minutes, he said.
One of the displaced residents, 21-year-old Tyler Conner, sat on the porch of the house to the right of his. It’s home to Union College students renting. He was wrapped in a blanket that he said one of the students gave him.
Conner, a caregiver for his mother with severe osteoporosis, said he and his mother, 52-year-old Karen Marshall, had been in the rooming house the longest. He’s entering his second year and she’s in her third. They both live on the third floor.
He was in a deep sleep because he went to bed late and takes medication. It wasn’t the fire alarm or smoke filling the room, but his mother’s screaming that woke him up, he said.
He managed to grab his cell phone and help his mother to the second floor, but they were unable to get out.
“The whole kitchen floor was black from smoke and there were flames coming out the doorway,” he said.
Thankfully, a backdoor that is usually locked was unlocked at the time. Otherwise, Conner said he and his mother would have had to jump from the second floor.
The building remains habitable, according to the assistant chief.
“The first floor has fire, smoke and water damage and the second floor was not really damaged at all,” Mareno said. “There’s some smoke in front of the building, but it was contained to that front part of the house on the first floor.”
He said authorities called CDTA to provide transportation for residents at a group home adjacent to the fire-damaged one.
The rooming house had been evacuated, Mareno said, but the fire was put out so quickly the bus line wasn’t needed for about 20 people.