Fourth set of Jay Street remains identified

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Schenectady Police Department has identified the fourth set of remains from the fire on Jay Street.

The remains have been identified as 31-year-old Robert Thomas. His remains were found in 104 Jay St. where he lived.

Robert Lee Thomas (Courtesy: Michael Roberson)
Robert Lee Thomas (Courtesy: Michael Roberson)

A fire broke out around 2 a.m. on March 6 at 104 Jay St. It then spread to the adjoining building at 100-102 Jay St. At least 60 people were displaced, and some tenants were unaccounted for.

During search and rescue efforts, four sets of human remains were found inside 104 Jay St. The other three remains have been identified as Harry Simpson, Jermaine Allen and Bernices Suarez. Both Simpson and Suarez were tenants of 104 Jay St., and police said Allen was a visitor.

Suarez’s cousin told NEWS10 ABC Allen was Suarez’s boyfriend.

Bernice Suarez and Jermaine Allen (Courtesy: Jennifer Pietri)
Bernice Suarez and Jermaine Allen (Courtesy: Jennifer Pietri)

Officials determined the cause of the fire was accidental and started in a recliner on the fourth floor. The Schenectady fire chief said Simpson was the resident of that apartment, and he tried to drag the chair into the hall. The flames quickly spread from the chair, which got stuck in the doorway of the apartment.

Demolition began on 104 Jay St. on March 19. Crews then moved to demolish 100-102 Jay St.

A State of Emergency was declared by Mayor Gary McCarthy within the area of Jay Street between Franklin Street and Liberty Street, extending down Franklin Street to 427 Franklin St., and extending down Liberty Street to the intersection of Yates Street.

The emergency includes the parking lots behind all buildings on Jay Street between Franklin Street and Liberty Street.

The emergency began at 7:30 p.m. on March 16 and will end at noon on March 26.

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