Charles Street fire displaces six; pets saved


A family of six adults has been displaced, and all their pets saved, following a garage fire on North Charles Street Friday afternoon.

No one was injured in the fire, which caused severe smoke damage throughout the attached residence, fire officials said. Firefighters braved the smoky home to save a family cat.

“When we got there, there was smoke and fire in the back,” said Deputy Fire Chief David Gratch this morning.

“We knocked it down pretty well.”

Gratch said two members of the six-person family were home shortly after 5 p.m., when they discovered the fire in the attached garage at the rear of 300 N. Charles St. The street runs north and south between Erie Boulevard and West Embargo Street, just west of the Liberty Garden Apartments.

The residents fled and called 9-1-1. Responding firefighters went to the back and knocked down the flames in about 10 minutes, Gratch stated.

The garage contained a motorcycle and a couple lawnmowers, which were all lost in the fire, the chief stated. The flames spread into the ceiling and rafters above the kitchen at the back of the residence. The first floor of the two-story house sustained severe smoke damage, he explained.

“The smoke’s pretty bad,” Gratch stated. Fire crews remained on the scene until about 7 p.m. cleaning hot spots.

The two residents who discovered the fire were able to get most of their pets out of the house, but the chief said one cat was still hiding inside when firefighters arrived on the scene.

“They tend to hide,” the chief said.

“They couldn’t get to the cat, so we got the cat out for them.”

No humans or animals were injured in the fire, the chief stated. The cause of the garage fire remains under investigation.

Gratch said the family was only renting the home and he does not believe they had renter’s insurance.

Two members of the family are being assisted by the American Red Cross, while the other four are staying with family and friends.

Gratch said the property is insured by the homeowner. According to city tax records, the property is owned by Deborah M. Patrick, of Elbridge. It has an assessed property value of $74,000.


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