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What you need to know for 01/18/2017

Fire probe continues as Schenectady homes razed

Fire probe continues as Schenectady homes razed

An investigation into the fire that destroyed three homes in the Vale neighborhood on Christmas Eve

An investigation into the fire that destroyed three homes in the Vale neighborhood on Christmas Eve continued Thursday as what remained of the structures was torn down.

The cause of the fire remained undetermined, with fire officials unable to rule much out, Deputy Fire Chief Michael Gillespie said.

Gillespie, however, did say that they don’t believe Christmas decorations sparked the evening blaze that began at 33 Moyston St. and spread to 31 and 35 Moyston. All three houses were occupied with either renters or owners.

Two people were injured. One person was treated and released. A resident of 33 Moyston jumped or fell from a second-story window.

That man was taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center, Gillespie said. The man is expected to survive.

Investigators got all they could from the scene by Thursday, Gillespie said. The work now turns to examining that evidence and tracking down people to interview.

Gillespie said they will also be checking street cameras and any video people may have shot of the blaze. He did not have a timetable for when the investigation might be complete.

Workers on Thursday completed the demolition of the homes and put up fencing around the site.

The blaze broke out as residents were readying for the Christmas holiday.

Barbara Burdick, a resident of 31 Moyston St., told The Daily Gazette on Wednesday that she realized her house was on fire as she wrapped presents. Both she and her son fled the home unharmed.

Firefighters arrived and stopped the fire from spreading to more houses, but they were unable to save the three homes.

The Red Cross was offering help to the displaced residents.

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