Updated 04/02/2012 08:34 AM
Fire destroys apartment building in Latham
Nearly a dozen people are without a home after a fire destroyed an apartment building in Latham. The fire broke out around Sunday afternoon on the ground floor of a building at the Woodlands Apartment Complex.
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LATHAM, N.Y. – "I actually started running around myself, once I got out, knocking on every door and making sure everybody was out of the apartments in the building,” Jon Moffre said. “It was a close call but we're out, we're safe."
In his own words, Moffre's life took a setback Sunday afternoon. Less than a year after the 32-year-old had his first child and got married, his building at the Woodlands Apartment Complex in Latham burst into flames.
"I opened up the front door and it was black smoke pumping above my head and the guy was screaming 'The building is on fire, get out!'” Moffre said. “So I ran through the apartment, grabbed my newborn child and my wife and got out."
Thankfully, none of the residents in the 10 unit building, including anyone in Moffre's family, were hurt in the fire which broke out around 3:30 p.m. It took roughly 60 firefighters and more than one hour to get the blaze under control.
"The conditions were very poor inside,” Latham Fire Chief Chris Morigerato said. “There were several times we were right on the cusp of pulling everybody out due to deteriorating conditions inside."
The fire was limited to one building in the complex, which has dozens of buildings in close proximity to each other. That layout made it difficult for crews as they battled the flames.
"As you look behind you, if cars were parked on both sides of the road here, we'd barely have enough room to get our apparatus in, so it does make it challenging," Morigerato said.
At this point chief Chris Morigerato says it's unclear exactly how the fire started or how many units were damaged, but that it appears to have originated in a ground level apartment on the north side of the building.
Displaced residents are now left trying to assess their losses and make sense of the tragedy.
"It hurts, it hits your heart, this is what we work for, our families, what we live for, everything that we do, so it's not easy," Moffre said.