Updated 02/15/2013 03:25 PM
Fire destroys apartment building in Glens Falls
More than a dozen people are now homeless following an early morning fire in Glens Falls Friday. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, previous fires at the building made it especially hard to put out.
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GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – "I heard the alarm at 5 o'clock and I didn't think too much about it,” Glens Falls resident Katie Malmberg said. “I realized that it was a fire alarm and I got up, smelt the smoke, grabbed my cats and got out."
Home alone while her husband was at work, Malmberg escaped with her life and a few prized belongings early Friday. The Malmbergs occupied one of ten apartments a building at 3 Shermantown Road, which officials say is likely a total loss after the early morning fire.
"You don't know who might still be in there or who got out or whatever,” said Eric Malmberg, who learned of the fire on his way home from work. “It's kind of scary to think about."
"The front of structure, the damage is somewhat limited,” Glens Falls Fire Chief James Schrammel said. “The attic area, it pretty much burnt the roof off and the rear of the structure is severely damaged."
According to the Glens Falls Fire Department, the fire started in a downstairs apartment after a resident, who was not home, left a teapot on the stove.
It took crews close to six hours to entirely extinguish the flames because of the building's complicated architecture.
"This building has had fires in it prior and it's been remodeled several times and that makes firefighting difficult,” Schrammel said. “It gives fire channels and spaces to progress in the building and it makes it difficult for firefighting operations."
While no one was seriously hurt, officials say one former resident cut his hand while helping others escape. He was treated at the scene.
Suddenly homeless, the building's more than a dozen residents are now tasked with finding a new place to call home.
"We were planning on moving at the end of this month,” Eric Malmberg said. “We bought a house and everything and now we've got a whole lot less stuff to move."
"Now we don't have anything for our house,” Katie Malmberg said. “We kind of have nothing."