Schenectady, N.Y. – When the fire started on Moyston Street
in Schenectady Tuesday night, neighbors who live just across the street from it
sprang into action. They came outside, moved their cars which allowed
emergency responders to get in and get people who needed help to safety.
just scrambling trying to get out to save their lives,” said Marvin Carter who
lives right across the street from the blaze.
Carter says he was inside his home celebrating the Christmas
holiday with his family.
enjoying Christmas Eve,” said Carter. Shortly
after 9:30 that night he first noticed the flames.
“All of a sudden we hear some commotion outside,” said
That commotion was fire ripping through one of the homes
and causing damage to other nearby buildings.
“We go out on
to the upper porch,” said Carter. “And
the house directly across the street is just totally engulfed in flames.”
Carter then quickly
went to work.
“The first thing we do is just go into action,” said
Carter. “Just come outside, moving cars because we knew that fire
fighters are on their way.”
But before fire fighters arrived, Carter said he learned
that his neighbor was trapped and in trouble.
“We come back
down and we are notified by neighbors that there is someone still inside the
building,” said Carter.
He says it was an elderly neighbor, yelling for help, with
only one way out.
gentleman is in the window,” said Carter. “And he doesn't want to jump but he's coaxed
to jump out, but he [then] hits the ground and it's kind of scary.”
the man landed in between two of the burning buildings.
“He lands and
he becomes unresponsive,” said Carter. “And
we kind of directed the police department, that got here first, that there is
someone in the alleyway that needs help.”
Fire officials say two people were taken to the hospital Tuesday
night, one had to be treated for burns.
But both are expected to be okay.
Other people that were evacuated from their homes are being assisted by Red Cross.
One of the major elements fire fighters were dealing with
Tuesday night was freezing water. Mist that was coming off the water that
was being sprayed on the fire kept falling back on to the fire fighters and
instantly freezing. Railings, sidewalks, steps, and trees – anything nearby – ended up coated in ice, including
the fire fighters.
Still, Carter says one good thing that prevailed through
the fire and ice that devastated many people on Christmas Eve, is that everyone
inside made out alive.
“Everybody is just in the spirit, nobody would expect
something like this to happen,” said Carter. “Fortunately though, everyone
escaped with their life and everything else can be replaced.”
Fire officials say they will be back Thursday morning to
continue their investigation into the cause of the fire.