DeWitt, N.Y. — A fire spread from a vacant, boarded-up house to another home as firefighters arrived at the scene late Sunday night at Midler Meadows Trailer Park, East Syracuse Fire Chief Lenny DiBello said.
Neighbors started calling 911 at 10:46 p.m. to report the fire on North Midler Avenue in the town of DeWitt.
A DeWitt police officer who arrived at the scene first confirmed the house was on fire. East Syracuse’s fire chief said he arrived within four to five minutes. Everyone was out of the homes safely, but the fire was spreading, he said.
“Flames were coming through the roof,” DiBello said.
East Syracuse, DeWitt, Fayetteville, Manlius, Solvay, Liverpool, Mattydale, Minoa and North Syracuse fire departments, EAVES ambulance and Onondaga County Emergency Management responded. As emergency crews headed to the scene, they were advised to use caution because a live wire had fallen in front of the house.
DeWitt officers, meanwhile, helped someone who lived in a mobile home next door to the house that was on fire get outside safely, the fire chief said. That mobile home never caught fire, but it did lose power, DiBello said.
Neighbors told the chief the first house on fire, at 421 N. Midler Ave., was vacant and had been vacant for several years, he said.
As firefighters arrived, the fire spread from that vacant house to another house, at 419 N. Midler Ave. A woman reportedly lived in the second house, but she was not home Sunday night, the chief said.
Firefighters initially battled the blaze from the back of 421 N. Midler Ave. while they waited for National Grid to secure the live wire in front of the house, DiBello said.
Firefighters continued battling the fire until about 3 a.m., the fire chief said.
At one point, a Liverpool volunteer firefighter started not to feel well while helping fight the fire inside 419 N. Midler Ave., DiBello said. That firefighter was transported to a Syracuse hospital as a precaution. DiBello said he checked in with the Liverpool Fire Department on Monday and was told the firefighter is doing well now.
Fire officials could not reach the woman who lives at 419 N. Midler Ave. to see if she needed any assistance, but the Red Cross is helping the neighbor whose mobile home did not catch fire but was still displaced because there was no power or gas to his home, the chief said. There was no meter or electrical service at the house where the fire is believed to have started. Both houses and the mobile home are in Midler Meadows Trailer Park.
Onondaga County fire investigators are still working to determine how the fire started, DiBello said.
“The fire is under investigation,” he said.