Families continue to search for unaccounted for Jay Street fire tenants

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two families say their loved ones are still missing after a massive fire ripped through two Schenectady apartment buildings.

It’s been three days since the devastating fire on Jay Street. More than 60 people were forced from their homes, but two families say their loved ones are missing. They fear the bodies are in the rubble of the buildings.

One of the tenants claimed missing is 31-year-old Robert Thomas, a former army national guardsman. His siblings have passed out flyers, and they’re praying Thomas may still be alive. They met with the police department Monday morning.

“Not much right now to go on,” Thomas’ brother Michael Roberson said. “Everything is still sensitive to the investigations. We are talking with authorities, and they have made word to keep us updated as far as anything that may be upcoming; anything that they find that we get in contact.”

Authorities said they have not recovered any bodies, so Roberson is holding out hope.

“I’m now trying to hold on to the fact that my brother is just maybe lost,” he said. “And hoping for the best outcome.”

Four of Roberson’s siblings came to Schenectady from Connecticut. The flyers they’ve passed out contain Thomas’ picture and Roberson’s cell phone number.

“We have confidence that the people behind us is doing all they can,” Thomas’ sister Nzima Hutchings said. “The only thing we can do is wait.”

Two separate families have come forward. They said at least three of their loved ones are unaccounted for. Police, however, wouldn’t confirm that.

Firefighters have been lifted in safety baskets at the back of the building. Authorities said they are trying to shore up the structures as they continue to search for victims.

Authorities would not comment on the cause of the fire or whether it’s considered suspicious. They said that will take time.

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