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Schenectady house to be demolished after Wednesday blaze

Schenectady house to be demolished after Wednesday blaze

Believed to be accidental
Schenectady house to be demolished after Wednesday blaze
Schenectady firefighters battle a house fire at 1059 Park Ave. on Tuesday, March 20, 2017.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCHENECTADY -- A Park Avenue house will need to be demolished, after a fire tore through it Wednesday evening.

Crews responded shortly after 5 p.m. to a fire at 1059 Park Ave. All eight residents of the building escaped without injury, and firefighters were able to knock the flames down, despite cold, windy conditions.

Officials from the fire department and city code enforcement office on Wednesday night deemed the building unsafe, and the city was expected to begin soliciting bids Thursday afternoon to get the demolition process underway, Assistant Fire Chief Michael Gillespie said.


The cause of the fire was still under investigation as of Thursday, but it was believed to be accidental, Gillespie said.

The structure was a two-family home with an apartment space in the attic, Gillespie said. All three stories of the building were occupied at the time of the fire, and the property had functioning smoke detectors and exit signs installed, he said.

The Northeastern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross provided aid to eight people left homeless by the fire, all of them adults.

Temperatures plummeted Wednesday to well below freezing, and persistent wind gusts impeded efforts to extinguish the fire, Gillespie said.

“In this particular case, the wind was blowing into our hose streams, which breaks it up and puts a mist over the scene and ices everything up,” he said. “It gives us less penetration into the fire with the water, and that creates a hazard.”

A nearby maple tree dropped several limbs into the street, after ice coated them and weighed them down, Gillespie said.

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