UTICA, N.Y. --- Utica Fire Deputy Chief Matt Ambrose suffered from minor injuries following a house fire on Smith Place in Utica. According to Utica Fire Chief Scott Ingersoll, fire crews were battling the fire inside of the home when the stairway collapsed causing Ambrose to fall from the second floor into the basement.
A MAYDAY call went out over the radio and fire crews were able to get to Ambrose and safely remove him from the burning home. Ingersoll said Ambrose was able to move on his own power. Ambrose was transported to St. Elizabeth's in Utica for evaluation.
Chief Ingersoll said Ambrose was released from the hospital a few hours later.
"It's horrible we call it a MAYDAY. One of the fire members reported the member had fallen all the way to the basement. Due to the stairwell collapsing. We have a team on standby for every fire that we respond to. We activated them. Before that team was able to get to them though, other firefighters were able to get to the basement and help the injured firefighter out," said Chief Ingersoll.
According to Ingersoll, the fire call came in at 6:55 am Sunday morning. When fire crews arrived they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the building. There were reports of people trapped inside on the second floor, but fire crews found no one inside.
Ingersoll said the property also has a negative record with the city. According to the City Codes Department, the property has had a number of code complaints filed against the property. One of those complaints was regarding exposed wiring on the property. Prior to the fire, the city said they did attempt to get into the property for a full inspection but was unable to.
National Grid was called to the scene and cut power to the entire block as crews battled the fire. The City Fire Marshall and State Fire Investigators are working to determine the cause and origin of the fire.
The family that lived on the second floor of the home has been accounted for. Ingersoll said they were not home at the time of the fire.