Amsterdam fire leaves families homeless

December 26, 2016 12:19 PM

AMSTERDAM - Two families are homeless following an early morning fire in Amsterdam.

Nine people were inside the home on Church Street when the fire broke out around 3:40 Monday morning.

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Firefighters called this fire "stubborn" and had to battle the elements along with the flames.

It was just before 4 a.m. Monday when flames erupted from the home on Church Street in Amsterdam. Nine people were inside, a mix of people who lived there and family visiting for the holidays. All were able to get out safely.

"Thankfully the smoke alarms were working, smoke alarms, they activated. The occupants were able to get out okay. APD also assisted by knocking on some doors on the right side unit," explained Amsterdam Fire Chief Michael Whitty.

The father of one of the residents told NewsChannel 13 that birds and a dog were missing in the fire. Firefighters found heavy flames in the back of the home. They tried to attack the flames, but found they had already spread by the time they got there.

"They pulled back out, got into the second floor, put some water on it there, but at that point it was already in the attic and they realized it was over their heads so they pulled everybody back out and went into a defensive mode," noted Whitty.

Despite two ladder trucks pouring water on the fire and other firefighters attacking from the back, the fire gutted the home. The roof collapsed and firefighters say the building is considered a loss. Despite the heat, it was the cold that was giving crews problems.

"Everything's freezing up on us. It makes fighting the fire a little more difficult, but it also makes maneuvering around the outside a little bit more difficult too. But no injuries, guys did a pretty good job considering the conditions," noted Whitty.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


WNYT Staff

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