Officials investigating two-alarm fire on 5th Ave in Troy as arson

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Firefighters spent hours battling a stubborn fire in Troy early Wednesday morning, a fire the Troy Police Department is now saying was arson.

It was a devastating morning for the owners of the AZ Grocery store after a fire that started in a vacant building nearby spread to their business.

Flames shot from the roof of the three-story building just before 3 a.m. Firefighters appeared to get the fire under control, but then flames once again began to shoot through the roof. The cycle repeated for more than three hours Monday morning.

Eleanor Meyers lives next door to the vacant building where the fire started. She said she never liked living next to the giant eyesore.

“I smelled smoke in the house, and I looked out the window and it was all fire,” she said. “The whole building was all fire.”

Crews were able to keep the fire away from Meyers’s house, but AZ Grocery wasn’t so lucky. After surveying the damage, the owners said they hope to salvage what’s left.

But there’s no saving the vacant home, which collapsed from within. It was demolished later in the day.

Wednesday morning, Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett said he was not ruling anything out as a cause, and by Wednesday afternoon, the Troy Police Department announced it was investigating the fire as arson.

“Just because it’s vacant doesn’t mean there was nobody in there,” Chief Garrett said.

Arson has become a common crime in the area that’s plagued by vacant properties. Jeffrey Gordon lives in the neighborhood.

“We certainly hope that this isn’t the beginning of a long summer for the fire department,” he said.

Gordon said the vacant buildings are easy targets for arsonists.

“It’s the surrounding community that suffers and that is put in jeopardy,” he said.

Meyers said she believes the fire was set.

“Somebody started it,” she said.

But despite all the conjecture, Meyers said she is happy she and her home are unharmed, especially on the day she celebrates a major milestone, her 82nd birthday.

Meyers has insurance, and other than a messy yard, she will be okay.

The Troy Police Department is asking for help from the public finding the person who may have started the fire.

Anyone with information regarding the fire, or any nearby businesses or residents with security cameras who may have captured footage in the area between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., should contact the Troy Police Department at 518-270-4402.

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