Rochester firefighters responded to a fire at the apartments at 1600 East Avenue just after 7 p.m. Thursday. The 12-story building contains 164 apartment units.
The fire broke out on the seventh floor of the apartment building.
Kyle Pujats lives on the 8th floor and described the moments before he and his friends knew they had to get out of the building.
“We heard a small beeping noise as if it was a truck backing up. It was our fire alarms going off in the hallways.”
Pujats says he didn’t realize what was happening until he came outside to smoke coming out of the building.
Lt. Dana Cieslinski with the Rochester Fire Department said it’s too early to say how the fire started.
“That’s still under investigation. A large part of the apartment [where the fire started] has been destroyed.”
Lt. Cieslinksi said all the residents, including the person inside the apartment that caught fire, got out of the building safely.
The entire seventh floor has smoke damage and possibly the 8th floor as well.
Pujats said he’s just glad the fire wasn’t worse and everyone is ok.
“A lot of people, it’s hard for them to walk [down the stairs]. If they’re on the 8th floor, it would be hard for them [to get out].”
It took a total of 8 engines, 3 trucks, the rescue, fire investigation, and a variety of Chiefs and supporting personnel to tend to the scene. Mutual aid was called in from Ridge Road Fire, Ridge Culver Fire, West Webster Fire, Gates Fire, Henrietta Fire, Barnard Fire, and Brighton Fire to help fill in with coverage across the city.
The fire was brought under control in about 25 minutes, but it took longer for firefighters to get the heavy smoke condition cleared out and for tenants to be able to reoccupy the structure.