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Investigation continues into Mary Street fire

The investigation into what caused a serious fire on Mary Street on Saturday is ongoing. Fire investigators were on the scene until late Saturday night sifting through the rubble.

Posted: Aug 16, 2020 6:06 PM
Updated: Aug 16, 2020 8:09 PM

UTICA, N.Y. --- The investigation into what caused a serious fire on Mary Street on Saturday is ongoing. Fire investigators were on the scene until late Saturday night sifting through the rubble. 

8 people were transported to the hospital for injuries. 6 of the 8 people including children jumped from the second-floor window to escape the fire. 

The Fire Department said 2 of the 8 people that were injured are still in the hospital. The other 6 people have been released.

Mary Street resident, Mary Wisniewski said Saturday's fire was unlike anything she's seen before.

"When I came in smoke covered the street. You couldn't even see anything. People were sitting across the street, so I went over to an old man. A cop helped me bring him over here so I gave him a chair, mask, and water," said Wisniewski.

Utica Fire Chief Scott Ingersoll said the department is still trying to get in touch with the property owner that lives in New York City.

Ingersoll said the contact number they had on file for the property has been disconnected. Ingersoll said the neighbors also came out to help. One of Wisniewski's neighbors Miguel ran to catch the children that were jumping from the window. 

We did try to get in contact with Miguel, but did not hear from him. Mary said she's proud of his actions.

"I was impressed, I was proud of him. He told me that he didn't think it was serious until he heard people screaming. So he ran over and started catching people. When instincts kick in, you're capable of doing anything," said Wisniewski.

Chief Ingersoll also commending his firefighters. He said all firefighters in Utica were called to the scene on Saturday. When they arrived there were reports of two infants still inside of the burning home. A group of firefighters quickly grabbed ladders and rushed to climb up to the second floor. Ingersoll said one of those firefighters is lucky to be alive after a room suddenly burst into flames.

"There was a flashover and one of our firefighters narrowly escaped injury. A flashover is when all of the contents of the room simultaneously ignite. So you're looking at temperatures of over a thousand degrees," said Ingersoll. 

Ingersoll said the firefighter's equipment protected him and took the brunt of the damage. It was later found that everybody made it out of the home.

"We don't talk a lot about what we do, but we demonstrate this behavior on a regular basis. The companies that arrived on the scene were very aggressive on their tactics to both simultaneously search for people and extinguish that fire," said Ingersoll.

Fire investigators are continuing to look into what caused the blaze. Stay tuned to WKTV.com as we learn more information.

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