ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Dozens of people are without their homes after a fire ripped through several houses on North Manning Boulevard Friday morning.
It all started in a vacant home and quickly spread to the other nearby houses.
Luckily, everyone was able to make it out okay.
The blaze destroyed fours homes, displaced eight families and more than 30 people, many who are children.
Now those families are trying to figure out what to do next.
“I have six children and she has five kids. We had two cats that we can’t find at this present time,” Dawn Whitman said.
Whitman lives on the top floor of the house right next to the vacant home where officials say the fire started.
Her downstairs neighbor Brittany Bryant is pregnant. Her family was able to make it out just moments before the fire took over.
“We got out and we got our neighbors out in time and by then the whole house was in flames,” Bryant said.
They’re crediting the quick escape to workers at the bakery across the street.
“We’d probably be burnt,” Whitman said. “They kicked my front door off the hinges.”
“Right across the alleyway we saw like ambers so once we kicked in just knocked on every single door about five houses just up and down,” Ralph Soler, a bakery worker, said.
Soler says he and a few others were outside on break when they noticed the fire. They knew several children lived there and jumped into action.
“Fire! Get out! Get out! Fire! Fire!”
Luckily no one was hurt.
Multiple fire agencies helped put out the fire, even managing to pull out some animals and reunite them with the families.
Some already are starting to help those who lost everything. One was man handing out warm clothes.
“A lot of people lost their houses over there. You’ve got to give back and the kids are cold and I’m not going to let them be cold and everything,” Lawrence Tyler said.
People like Bryant and Whitman are looking to the future and trying to figure out what to do next.
“Everything I was saving for the new baby we just have to start over again,” Bryant said.
“Slowly but surely I’ll gather my life back together. I just need somewhere to call home for my children,” Whitman said.
The Red Cross is helping three of the families with a place to stay. Albany Community Development has also placed three families. The other two displaced families have found a place to stay with loved ones.
Firefighters were able to bring out some clothes, bags, and other items that could be salvaged but a lot of people lost everything.
Any clothing or food donations can be made to the Interfaith Partnership on Sheridan Avenue. They can be reached at (518)-434-8021. They are not looking for monetary donations at this time.
If you’d like to make a monetary donation, you can do that at any local SEFCU.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.