Six Dead in Syracuse House Fire

Early morning fire kills six people on city’s north side
Published Friday, May 6, 2016

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A pre-dawn fire tore through a home in Syracuse, killing six members of the same family, fire officials said Friday.

Syracuse Fire Department officials said the blaze was reported around 3:50 a.m. at a home on the city's north side. When firefighters arrived just minutes after receiving a 911 call, the front of the house was engulfed in flames, officials said.

Fire Chief Paul Linnertz said firefighters were attempting to enter the front of the burning two-story home when the porch roof collapsed, forcing them to retreat.

"So they had to back out and find another way into the house," Linnertz said.

Firefighters used ladders to enter the second floor, where they found four bodies. Two others were found downstairs.

The flames were put out about 30 minutes later.

Linnertz told Time Warner Cable News that all six victims were related. A seventh person was able to escape and has been taken to a hospital. No other information was released.

Sebira Pehlic told The Syracuse Post-Standard that she "heard a boom" about an hour after returning home from work at 3 a.m. Friday. She looked out a window and saw smoke and flames coming from a house four doors away.

Pehlic says the fire spread quickly. A photo she took that was posted on the newspaper's website shows a wall of flames shooting from the front of the house.

Pehlic said the family living at the home had two daughters ages 7 and 12.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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USFA: New York Firefighter Dies after Emergency Call

New York volunteer passed away at home several hours after responding to the firehouse
United States Fire Administration Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Firefighter Theodore A. Stafford, 73, of the Sag Harbor Fire Department on May 2, 2016.

Firefighter Stafford died at home from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined several hours after responding to the fire station for an emergency call.

Tribute is being paid to Firefighter Stafford at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/
 
To date, 22 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2016.  Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/fatalityData/statistics


Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

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To date, 22 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2016.

Candles Seen as Possible Cause of New York City Church Fire

Candles used during Easter celebration may not have been fully extinguished
The remains of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava are seen in New York, Monday, May 2, 2016. The historic church in New York City was destroyed in a raging fire Sunday just hours after its Orthodox worshippers celebrated Easter. Authorities reported one minor injury in the blaze. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Fire department officials say the cause of a blaze that destroyed a historic New York City church is under investigation but it could have been candles.

The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava (SAH'-vah) burned on Sunday, the same day Orthodox Christians around the world celebrated Easter. Fire officials said Tuesday they are looking into whether caretakers at the church may have accidentally placed candles that had not been fully extinguished in a cardboard box after the Easter celebration.

They say the fire is not suspicious, but the investigation is ongoing.

The church was designed by architect Richard M. Upjohn and was built in the early 1850s. One of its earlier congregants was novelist Edith Wharton, who wrote "The Age of Innocence." She was married in the church in 1885.

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Foam Chemical Causes State of Emergency in New York

State of emergency declared in Newburgh after chemical was found in water supply
Published Tuesday, May 3, 2016

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — A Hudson Valley city has declared a state of emergency after officials say a potentially dangerous chemical was found in the city's main water supply.

Newburgh declared the state of emergency on Monday.

City Manager Michael Ciaravino says the state Department of Conservation found low levels of the chemical known as PFOS in Silver Stream and Washington Lake.

The chemical, which is used in firefighting foam, has been identified by environmental regulators as an emerging contaminant of concern.

Officials say the city will not take drinking water from Lake Washington until further notice. Water will instead come from Brown's Pond and the Catskills Aqueduct.

Water conservation measures will be implemented, including restrictions to lawn watering, vehicle washing. Water will only be served at restaurants upon request.

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FDNY Investigates Cause of Manhattan Church Fire

Serbian Orthodox church was gutted in a three-alarm fire
Firefighters battle a fire at the historic Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in New York. The church that was constructed in the early 1850s and was designated a New York City landmark in 1968. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Published Tuesday, May 3, 2016

City crews cleared debris from the burned hulk of a historic Flatiron church Monday, paving the way for fire marshals to search for the cause of the inferno, authorities said.

The smell of smoke still hung in the air around the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, its roof a skeleton, its ornate woodwork now cinders and its golden artwork of the saints destroyed Sunday night after Easter services. Four firefighters and one civilian suffered minor injuries in an inferno that started before 6:50 p.m. and took three hours to control, authorities said.

Building inspectors on Monday determined that the cathedral was in no immediate danger of collapse, said Alexander Schnell, building department spokesman. They will continue to look out for areas of debris in danger of falling, he said.

The Gothic-style cathedral was designed in 1850.

Firefighters had a "watch line" at the scene Monday to ensure no hots spots reignited, a fire department spokesman said. Fire marshals were waiting for debris to be cleared before sifting through the wreckage for clues on the source of the fire, he said.

On its website, St. Sava asked for donations in a posting titled, "Our church has burned down!"

"As of 10:00 a.m. Monday morning . . . firefighters are still spraying the building with water," the update said. "Police has sealed the area around the cathedral, and we don't have access to it at the moment."

Parishioners stopped by to survey the damage, including several who had been attending services there for decades.

Zoran Milojevic, 44, said the church served as a social meeting place for many Serbians throughout the city. Milojevic, a stock broker from Westchester County, said people would even use the church's network to look for jobs.

"From cultural activities, to artists place, to seeing a friend you haven't seen in a while, to actually trying to find a job," he said, adding the church was the hub. "It was also a networking place - everything for the people that were here second, third, fifth generation to the newcomers."

Milojevic has attended the church for about 20 years and said his parents renewed their vows there, as well.

Upper West Side resident Alexander Doncov, 33, attended Easter services with his family Sunday morning. Doncov, who was married in the church about six years ago, found out what happened on his way home.

"It was really a cornerstone of Serbian immigrants who come here over the years. It was sort of a center of this society and it's a shame to see what happened," he said. "Thank God it didn't happen during the service."

 

 

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Audio, Photos, Videos: Fire Guts Manhattan Church

FDNY battles a three-alarm fire at a historic Manhattan church
Firefighters battle flames at an historic Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in New York, Sunday, May 1, 2016. The church was constructed in the early 1850s and was designated a New York City landmark in 1968. (Anindya Ghose via AP)
Published Monday, May 2, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) — A historic church in New York City was destroyed in a raging fire just hours after its Orthodox worshippers celebrated Easter.

The fire that started at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in Manhattan sent plumes of smoke billowing into the city's skyline.

The fire was largely extinguished three hours later, but firefighters had to beat back small pockets of flames. Authorities didn't disclose the cause of the fire, which destroyed the church's roof.

Fire officials said the church's caretaker ran inside the Gothic Revival style building to try to put out the blaze but suffered minor smoke inhalation and had to be rescued.

The fire broke out on the same day Orthodox Christians around the world celebrated Easter. The church website listed services on Sunday morning and an Easter luncheon at 1 p.m.

"I was just inside that building three hours ago," a heartbroken Dex Pipovic, told PIX11 News. He said he had been going to the church for seven years.

Alex Velic, 31, the caretaker's stepson, told the Daily News he lives next door. He said he smelled smoke and came outside and saw the church on fire.

"Once the fire caught the wood there was flames coming out of the top of the church. That's when people were going crazy," Velic said. "I'm in shock. I don't know what to say. It's sad."

Father Djokan Majstorovic, the church's priest, struggled to get to the fire scene blocked off by firefighters. "I feel like I'm in a nightmare right now," he said.

City Council Member Corey Johnson called for a full investigation into the cause of the fire.

"This is a huge loss for the community," he said. "In addition to being a place of worship, this historic building was a New York City landmark, treasured by the people" living in the neighborhood.

The church was designed by architect Richard M. Upjohn and was built in the early 1850s. One of its earlier congregants was novelist Edith Wharton, who wrote "The Age of Innocence." She was married in the church in 1885.

The Serbian Orthodox Church purchased the building from the Episcopal Diocese in New York in 1943. The building was designated a city landmark in 1968.

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FDNY Fireground Audio 4th Alarm Church Fire in Manhattan

Serbian Orthodox Church in Manhattan on fire after Orthodox Easter celebration, RT

FDNY: 5/1/16 Manhattan 4 Alarm Fire 24 West 25 St. Fire in the Serbian Orthodox Church

 

 

 

 

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Videos: NYC Serbian Orthodox Church Destroyed in Fire
  • Videos: Brooklyn Six-Alarm Fire, Box 1784

    Toddlers Killed in Bronx Apartment Fire

    Two toddlers die in third floor apartment fire
    Published Thursday, April 14, 2016

    NEW YORK (AP) — Investigators say burning incense caused a New York City fire that killed two toddler sisters.

    The Fire Department of New York also said Thursday that there were no working smoke detectors in the third-floor apartment at a public housing project in the Bronx where the girls lived.

    The fire Wednesday evening claimed the lives of 18-month-old Amanda Jabie and her 2-year-old sister, Jannubi.

    About 10 other people, including several firefighters, were treated for minor injuries.

    It wasn't immediately clear whether any charges would be filed.

    ___

    This story has been corrected to show the 2-year-old's name is Jannubi, not Januvia, and the girls' last name is Jabie, not Jabir.

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