Three killed in Rensselaer house fire, community mourns

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) –Police officials confirm three people have died after a two-alarm house fire on Mann Avenue in Rensselaer Sunday morning.

The community continues to mourn the loss of three of their own, including multiple tragedies in the area over the weekend.

A devastating blaze took the lives of two adults and one child.

Officials said the fire began around 4:30 a.m. and had fully engulfed the single-family home when crews arrived on scene.

Rensselaer Police sid fire crews located several people trapped inside the house during suppression and rescue efforts. Five people were transported to local hospitals, three of whom have died. One of the victims was a child, police say.

Another child was flown to Syracuse in critical condition and the third was taken to Albany Medical Center for minor injuries.

Rensselaer police and fire investigators and New York State fire investigators remain at the scene.

The following individuals passed away in the fire: Safia Alblakhi, 68 year old female; Monzalah Alshami, 41 year old female; Aymen Alshami, 8 year old male.

At a press conference was held Sunday morning at 11 a.m.. Scott Earing, Rensselaer Police detective said, “It’s tragic. We have to do the best we can to determine how this happened. It’s a tragic incident all around.”

A vigil was held at 6 p.m., at the home on Mann Ave in Rensselaer.

It was an emotional scene with candles, stuffed animals and signs spread everywhere to honor the victims. A scene of tearful eyes and comforting hugs, the community has been shaken to it’s core.

Denise Wright is one of many who showed up to pay her respects, as the sun set on Sunday evening.

“We all feel it,” Wright said. “Devastating and heartbreaking.”

Wright and the rest of the community all have the sense of loss in their hearts.

“It’s just devastating to think of the pain the family is going through,” Wright said.

She taught the oldest son, Motasm Alshami, who is recovering at Albany Medical Center. Alshami’s sister is the other survivor and she was rushed to a hospital in Syracuse.

Safia Harris is classmates and good friends with Motasm.

“We just had an unbreakable bond,” Harris said. “We were just hanging out Friday in this exact spot.”

He knows Monday won’t be easy. But, these neighbors share the pain and loss and they promise to be there for each other every step of the way.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Grief counselors will be available for students tomorrow morning in the Rensselaer City School District and will operate on a one hour delay schedule.

NEWS10 ABC will continue to update this story with the latest information.

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