GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — The scene of an apartment fire on Sherman Avenue is clear and all lanes are back open following a severe fire that took firefighters hours to extinguish.
The fire began at around 7 p.m. Thursday, leaving at least 25 Glens Falls residents without a home.
Glens Falls Fire Chief James Schrammel said four people were injured due to the fire, including one fireman. The fireman’s injuries are unknown, and the three civilians suffered from smoke inhalation.
Two of the civilians injured were on the third floor of the building and needed to be rescued by firefighters.
The chief said crews were met with heavy flames in the back of the building but said one of the major problems in fighting the blaze was heavy smoke made it almost impossible to see. Schrammel said firefighters could see the smoke from more than half a mile away.
Seven different departments responded to the five-alarm fire. Schrammel said a nearby building as well as a church in the rear of the building suffered damage, but the fire did not spread to those buildings.
There is no word on a cause, and fire crews are investigating.
The American Red Cross is working for the next week at the neighboring First Presbyterian Church providing food and temporary shelter.
“Right now, it’s really a matter of trying to get the people situated, get them started back to the road of recovery,” Carl Heimer with the American Red Cross said.
The community is also coming together to help those in need.
A Facebook page titled ‘Sherman Square Fire Relief’ has been set up to organize help, and Sensibiliteas on Lawrence Street and Queensbury United Methodist Church on Aviation Road are collecting items for the victims.
“We are all together in this,” Sensibiliteas owner Donnalynn Milford said. “I would like to think that if this happened to me in my home, somebody would be there doing this for me.
Queensbury United Methodist is asking for basics and necessities for both men and women.
“We can collect items, and it’s a safe place – an honest place,” Megan Phaneuf of the church said. “You know that your items are gonna go where they need to go.”
Arthur Duckfield and Sarah Condon lived in the building. They said they are glad the community is there when they need them the most.
“It says a lot that there are people willing to help when disasters like this happen,” Duckfield said.
Condon echoed his sentiment.
“I’m very blessed, and I’m glad they took the time to help us out and did everything they can to help us and keep us safe,” she said.
Queensbury United Methodist is collecting donations at their 460 Aviation Road location Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. According to the Red Cross there are approximately 18 men, 18 women and four to six children in need.
The largest items in need are underwear, socks, toiletries, school supplies, book bags, laundry supplies, a pair of sunglasses for a woman, gift cards to Wal-Mart, and totes or suitcases to put the items in.
Children shoes are needed for boys ages 2-11-years-old.
The church asks that no bedding or towels be donated at this time.