Firefighters battle blaze on Duane Avenue
Updated 1:47 p.m.
SCHENECTADY A fire at a vacant building on Duane Avenue sent one firefighter for evaluation after getting debris in his eye, Fire Chief Michael Della Rocco said.
Firefighters were called to 403 Duane Ave. just after 11:30 a.m. after a passing police officer reported smoke coming from the building.
When firefighters arrived, the two-story vacant home was heavily involved. Firefighters turned their immediate attention to saving surrounding structures, including the old Mahoney's Hardware complex, which wraps around in an "L" from the fire building to Brandywine Avenue. That building, which is undergoing renovation, sustained melted siding, Della Rocco said.
The fire itself was attacked from the outside, eventually getting it out.
The building was vacant and already owned by the city, Della Rocco said. Fire investigators have received reports from people who say they have seen people in and out of the building.
The cause remains under investigation.
"The circumstances do raise many questions," Della Rocco said.
Duane Avenue, from Brandywine to Kelton avenues was to remain shut for the afternoon. Brandywine Avenue was shut for about an hour and a half, but has since reopened.
The Duane Avenue fire was the second fought by city firefighters this morning. The first was at an old dance studio on Broadway shortly after 9 a.m.