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What you need to know for 01/17/2017

Fire destroys large Brownstone row house in downtown Saratoga Springs

Fire destroys large Brownstone row house in downtown Saratoga Springs

Fire destroys a multi-unit row house early this morning on Woodlawn Avenue one block off Broadway.
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Fire destroyed a Brownstone row house early this morning on Woodlawn Avenue one block off Broadway.

As of 11 a.m., fire crews were still on the scene. No injuries were reported at the scene, but dozens of residents of the building are without a place to stay and most if not all of them lost their possessions. Some were Saratoga Race Course pari-mutuel clerks who were in Saratoga for the racing meet.

The fire was reported around 4 to 4:30 a.m. Firefighters were at the scene for hours trying to knock down the fire.

According to Saratoga Spring Police Lt. John Catone, about 32 people live in the row house and about half were likely home at the time of the fire, but they believe everyone is safe.

According to a press release from the Saratoga Springs Police Department around 7:30 a.m., the fire caused the temporary closure of nearby roads, which were expected to be closed indefinitely. The impacted roads include: Broadway between RT 50 Arterial and Lake Ave, Church Street between Broadway and Railroad Place, VanDam Street between Broadway and Clinton Street, Walton Street between Broadway and Clinton Street, Woodlawn between Church Street and Greenfield Ave.

Members of the Saratoga Assembly of God church, which is located a few doors down from the fire, welcomed people forced out of their home into theirs. The church's hospitality coordinator Shannon Johnson said they were housing the Red Cross operations and they were rummaging through their supplies to give clothing to people who had to quickly evacuate.

Around 10:30 a.m., Johnson was working a grill outside the church to give food to their visitors. “We had a barbeque planned for our members," she said. “We took all the food we had prepped and decided to put it to better use than ourselves”

Mary King, who lives next door to the fire, said she was alerted about the danger around 4 a.m. by a call from a neighbor across the street. She then had to wake up her 83-year-old husband and get him out of the house. The only thing King, who is now displaced and was watching crews continue to battle the fire hours later, could take with her was her husband's medication.

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