Three displaced from Court Street fire

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UTICA — Three people have been displaced from their home — and city firefighters successfully revived a pet dog — following a fire on Court Street in Utica Saturday morning, according to the Utica Fire Department.

A pet cat died in the blaze, authorities stated.

The alarm was raised at 11:08 a.m. for a fire at 1115 Court St. in Utica, on the city's west side, fire officials said. Crews responded and found smoke pouring out of all three stories of the brick structure.

Bystanders in the area told firefighters that two people were trapped inside the home and rescue attempts were made — though a search found no one trapped. Fire officials said no residents were home at the time of the fire.

"We focused on the second floor for searching," said Utica Fire Chief Scott Ingersoll Monday morning.

Due to clutter in the indoor stairwells, Ingersoll said that they "had to place multiple ladders" to reach and then search the second floor.

"That is one of the key takeaways," Ingersoll noted. "Keep your stairs and the exits out of your home clear."

Though no people were inside the single-family residence, fire officials said a pet cat and dog were discovered and brought to safety. The cat died at the scene, and firefighters were able to save the dog.

"We were able to revive the dog. Personnel used the pet oxygen mask and were able to resuscitate the dog," Ingersoll stated, noting that they use the pet oxygen mask several times a year at fires. They've been carrying the gear for about five years, he added.

The fire was localized in the kitchen area of the first floor and officials said they battled for about an hour before the flames were under control. Authorities said the damage was contained to several rooms on the first floor, with some extension up into the second floor.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Ingersoll stated. They are also trying to determine if the fire started in the kitchen.

One potential danger while fighting the fire was the fact that the family had five propane cylinders stored in the home, some of which were full, Chief Ingersoll stated. Even when empty, these cylinders still contain some gas residue, which can be dangerous in a house fire.

"It's against fire code to store propane cylinders inside a house," Ingersoll said.

The American Red Cross is assisting the three adult residents who were displaced from their home. They are being offered food, shelter and clothing.

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