PLATTSBURGH — A raging fire at 32 Adirondack Lane forced as many as 17 people from their apartments late Monday night.
Nine people were sent to the hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation, according to City of Plattsburgh Fire Chief Scott Lawliss.
“(There was) heavy fire and smoke showing from first floor that had trapped occupants on the second floor,” Lawliss said of the fire’s condition when they first arrived. “It’s uninhabitable; the structure is still solid but it needs a lot of work.”
‘WE MADE IT OUT SAFE’
Some pets, dogs and cats, appear to have perished in the blaze.
“We made it out safe and that’s what matters,” Matt Goble said.
“Everyone did what needed to be done.”
The fire appeared to have started in a first-floor apartment of the eight-unit two-story building around 10:30 p.m.
City Police Capt. Brad Kiroy said it looks as if the fire started in the kitchen area of a downstairs apartment, but the investigation was still underway.
SON STAYED UP
The fire quickly spread upstairs and generated thick black smoke in the hallways and surrounding units.
Goble, 34, was home with his wife and four children, and a friend of their children, in their second-floor apartment when the fire broke out.
His 12-year-old son alerted them of the fire.
“Good thing my son stayed up late and he yelled ‘fire’ and we got all the kids and got out,” he said.
Goble said they at first tried to go down the stairs and out the front door, but the smoke prevented that avenue.
“There was no way,” he said.
They scrambled to the back of the apartment to a window where City of Plattsburgh firefighters had a ladder waiting.
“Firefighters were right on point,” he said.
“They did a great job.”
Goble’s eight-year-old daughter, Olivia, suffered a burn on her hand when she touched a wall on her way out.
“But we are just so happy everybody made it out,” he said.
WENT OUT WINDOW
Several other people also had to escape through windows.
Isaac Eshon was one of them.
Eshon lives on the first floor below the Goble’s.
He said he went to bed early Monday night and was awakened by the smoke alarm.
His path out the front was also blocked by smoke, so he too went to a back window.
“It was on the first floor so it wasn’t too far down,” said.
Eshon waited outside Tuesday morning as firefighters continued cleanup of the building.
“I haven’t been able to go back in yet so I don’t know what is in there,” he said.
STAYING AT MOTEL
Representatives from the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted the 17 displaced residents, providing financial assistance for necessities like food, shelter and clothing.
A representative from Meron Properties, owner of the building, said that all of the residents had been put up in the Comfort Inn, also owned by the company, for the time being while they work on finding new apartments for them.
Lawliss said that the city department stayed at the fire until shortly after 3 a.m. due to rekindling concerns.
Departments from South Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh District 3, Cumberland Head and Morrisonville all joined the city department in fighting the fire.
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Staff Writer Ben Watson contributed to this story