Tipped candle sparked blaze

Published Aug 11, 2017 at 4:00pm

Utica fire officials have confirmed that a tipped candle is to blame for the fire on Spring Street earlier this month.

Officials said the city posted a “Do Not Occupy” order on 611 Spring St. in December 2015 due to a large number of cats and a large accumulation of debris and possessions, consistent with hoarding. The resident had been told she could not occupy the residence on a permanent basis until it had been cleaned up, but city officials said there was no indication that the female resident made any attempt to comply with the orders.

At about 9 a.m. Aug. 3, officials said the resident was in the front room on the first floor when she accidentally knocked a candle onto the floor. The light from the candle ignited the debris in the home and the fire spread quickly. The resident was able to escape.

Officials said numerous cats are believed to have perished in the blaze.

The fire was knocked down quickly and the residence was a total loss. The female resident was hospitalized for minor injuries, officials said.