UPDATE 11:30 a.m.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW
OSWEGO – The Oswego Fire Department battled a difficult structure fire Thursday evening (Jan. 28) in an apartment house at 194 W. Fifth St.
Firefighters remain on the scene at this time tending to hot spots and pumping water from neighboring basements.
Firefighters were dispatched to the blaze at 10:03 p.m., after an occupant called 911 stating that an electrical outlet was on fire.
When fire personnel arrived on the scene minutes later, residents were evacuating the structure with the help of Oswego Police Department officers.
Fire department personnel entered the three-story, nine-unit apartment building, located an active fire on the second floor and worked to extinguish it with multiple hoselines.
Other firefighters searched the third floor of the structure for any trapped occupants.
Fire crews then had to pull the sheetrock ceiling and wall material to expose hidden pockets of fire.
Fire officials found that the fire had advanced to the attic space and believed the roof supports were comprised, forcing personnel out of the structure.
Crews then battled the fire from the exterior, dousing the building with water from ladder trucks.
Additional handlines were deployed to the neighboring houses to keep them from catching fire.
The fire was declared under control after about 2 hours, and crews remained on the scene to continue to douse the building with water.
The structure sustained heavy damage to the three floor and roof, and neighboring houses sustained some water damage.
Portable pumps had to be deployed to remove about six feet of water in the basement of the house next door.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury at the fire, and was checked and released.
No civilian injuries were reported.
Fire Chief Jeff McCrobie commended his team on a job well done, saying, “This was a difficult fire in a large multiple occupancy, luckily the building had working smoke alarms that alerted the residents. Our firefighters did an excellent job containing this fire to one building.”
The Oswego Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Oswego Police Department, the Oswego DPW, National Grid, the Oswego County Fire Coordinators Office, and the mobile cascade unit from Mexico.
Thanks to Menter Ambulance for taking several ambulance calls in the city while our crews were dedicated to the fire.
Special thanks to the Minetto VFD and the Scriba VFD for manning their stations in case other emergencies came up during the fire.
The American Red Cross was helping the displaced residents find temporary housing.
“We expect to be at the scene working on the fire investigation for most of the morning. West Fifth Street, between Utica and Mohawk streets, will remain closed for a short time longer,” Lt. Paul Conzone said.