SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Tuesday, one set of human remains was located on the third floor of the Jay Street building destroyed by a fire last Friday, but on Wednesday investigators had to stop operations due to a compromised chimney.
Schenectady Fire Chief Raymond Senecal confirmed Wednesday that only one set of human remains had been located. The remains were removed Tuesday afternoon and handed over to the medical examiner for identification, according to police. They are unsure of how long it will take to identify the remains.
Anthony Cortese lived in 104 Jay St. He escaped the fire and was also friends with Simpson.
“I had heard that some remains came out of the building, and I just, you know, I’m curious,” he said. “He’s in there. I don’t know how much is left of anything in there, but I know he didn’t get out. No way.”
Cortese took cell phone video of the fire after he made it outside.
“There was a couple that was up in the top window,” he recalled. “They were pleading for help because it was horrible. It was horrible. They were so desperate.”
Cortese said the fire alarms did not go off, and he couldn’t open the fire exit door. Instead, he got out of his window and went down the fire escape.
“The next apartment I get I’m going to make sure that there’s alarms that work and other stuff like that, and I definitely want a fire escape by my window,” he said.
The fire broke out at around 2 a.m. Friday, March 6. Police said at least 60 people were displaced and six hospitalized, including one person who jumped out of a fifth-story window. Officials said another resident was sent to the burn center in Westchester.
For those who survived the fire, assistance can be found at the Department of Social Services located at 797 Broadway in Schenectady. DSS is open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The afterhours phone number is 518-382-0383.