ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — One person was killed and seven other were rescued in an apartment fire on Chili Avenue early Friday morning.
According to the Rochester Fire Department, one person was hospitalized from the fire that started at 3 a.m. Firefighters said when they arrived on scene, they say heavy smoking coming out of the building — which houses 12 units.
“They were able to assist six occupants out of the building as well as rescue one occupant from a second floor balcony via a ladder. One of the people assisted out of the building was transported to the hospital with what is believed to be smoke inhalation,” Lt. Ryan Fleming said in a statement.
The scene was under control in approximately 45 minutes and the fire was contained to the apartment of origin.
“He’s an angel,” Marcy Gutierrez said of the firefighter who rescued her and her cat Sassy. “”Let me tell you; I was half asleep and in shock. All I know, somebody had me under the arm, around the waist and somebody else had my back.”
Firefighters found her cat under the couch and began giving her oxygen.
“But that one has been with me for 20 years. That’s mama cat….this could have been a whole other scenario, you know,” Gutierrez said.
Most residents heard the fire alarms that went off except for the one person who was killed, who neighbors described as a woman in her 60s.
“It was so nerve wracking,” Nesha Anderson, one of the residents who escaped said. “Cause I am a heavy sleeper. I could have lost my life tonight, and somebody actually did so it’s sad and it is a tragedy.”
“The initial structure like I said it was high heat low visibility,” Fleming said. “Once they got to the apartment and they said it was coming out of the doorway that’s an intense fire and even try to attempt get into building a fire like that without a hose is heroic in itself.”
The Red Cross is on scene to help with the displaced residents. About 35 firefighters responded to the scene to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“RFD would like to remind the community to make sure they have working smoke alarms as well as CO alarms in their homes. Early detection devices save lives.”
Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.