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Candle left burning cause of Schenectady blaze

February 18, 2014
Updated 6:56 p.m.
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Schenectady firefighters battle a 2-alarm fire at 1038-1040 Forest Road after flames broke out shortly after 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Schenectady firefighters battle a 2-alarm fire at 1038-1040 Forest Road after flames broke out shortly after 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

— A candle left burning in a living room caused an early-morning fire at a two-family apartment house Tuesday, fire officials said.

Four people lived there, but all got out safely, officials said.

The fire was called in at 4:49 a.m. at 1038-1040 Forest Road. The caller reported a small fire in the living room, officials said.

When firefighters arrived, flames were visible, and they called in a second alarm. The fire was under control at 5:36 a.m.

One family lived in the house, with two people upstairs and two downstairs. The family owned the house, Assistant Fire Chief Michael Gillespie said. The local chapter of the American Red Cross was assisting them, he said.

Three of the four residents were out of the house by the time firefighters arrived. The fourth was still inside getting shoes, Gillespie said. Firefighters escorted that resident to safety.

While there were a couple of slip-and-falls, no firefighters reported injuries, Gillespie said.

The fire began when one of the residents fell asleep in the living room and a candle burned down, breaking a glass holder and starting the fire, officials say. That person woke and alerted the other residents, Gillespie said.

The family liked to use candles for the ambiance, the assistant chief said.

There were no smoke detectors in the home, he said.

The house appeared sound, Gillespie said, but there was heavy fire damage downstairs and some smoke damage to the second floor.

Gillespie said there was nothing out of the ordinary in fighting the blaze.

“Obviously, winter always plays a role, but that’s something we’ve adjusted to,” he said.

 
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