Numerous residents displaced after Olbiston Apartment fire

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It's an apartment building that certainly stands out - the historic and grand Olbiston on Genesee Street in Utica.

Friday afternoon, the many people who live there are getting help from the American Red Cross following a massive fire early morning.

Now authorities are trying to figure out how it started.

The fire's been out for several hours, but fire marshals remain on the scene investigating just exactly how this fire started.

The fire broke out around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning in the basement of the building near the elevator shaft.

The fire actually traveled up the elevator shaft to the top floors of the building, and that's where the worst of the fire damage occurred.

Heavy smoke filled the top floors of this building and the first firefighters on the scene had to rush to make sure everyone got out.

"I watched the fire engines came, then I opened my door and it was all black smoke," said resident Carla Wolfe. "Don't know how long it was going, but it must have been a while...no smoke detectors."

"It's a miracle no one was seriously hurt or killed," said Fire Chief Russell Brooks. "Very thankful that things ended the way they did."

The Red Cross is assisting all of the victims of this fire. They say between 80 to 100 people have gotten some sort of assistance so far, and they expect that number to increase as the day goes on.

If you need assistance or would like to help out, you can contact the Red Cross at 315-733-4666.

There's no word yet on when this apartment complex will open back up.

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