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Schenectady County DA to speak on Jay Street fire

Schenectady County DA to speak on Jay Street fire

Blaze killed 4
Schenectady County DA to speak on Jay Street fire
Four people died when a fire broke out on March 6, 2015, at 104 Jay St. in Schenectady.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCHENECTADY -- Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney will hold a press conference Thursday morning about the Jay Street fire, just a few days shy of the two-year anniversary of the deadly blaze.

Carney’s office has been leading a nearly two-year investigation into issues beyond the cause of the fire, which was determined to be accidental. The press conference will take place at 11 a.m. at the Schenectady County Courthouse, according to a news release.

Four people died when a fire broke out on March 6, 2015, at 104 Jay St. in Schenectady. The blaze consumed the building and spread to 100-102 Jay St.

Seven other people were hospitalized, and 60 were displaced.

Details have been scarce on the progress of the investigation, but it has been cited as a reason for the city of Schenectady to withhold public code enforcement documents related to the fire.

Last week, several Freedom of Information Law requests filed by The Daily Gazette for email correspondence between former City Building Inspector Eric Shilling and city leaders were denied. In denying the requests, City Attorney Carl Falotico cited a subpoena issued by Carney’s office just days after Shilling’s unexpected death.

Hours after the fire, Shilling told The Daily Gazette that code enforcement officials inspected all 20 apartments at 104 Jay St. the day before the fire. Several tenants in buildings that burned down said the structures hadn’t been properly maintained, and that the alarms and sprinklers did not function.

Several former tenants and family members of the fire’s victims have filed lawsuits against the building’s owner and manager. Several have also preserved their rights to sue the city, though none had done so as of this week.

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