Grape Street fire kills four children
Updated: Friday, July 12 2013, 04:52 PM EDT
Rochester, N.Y. - Four children died in a house fire early Saturday morning in a two-story home at 82 Grape Street.
Firefighters were originally called to a report of a rubbish fire on the curb between 78 and 80 Grape Street around 1:00 a.m. They put out that fire and started knocking on doors to investigate.
In that process, they discovered flames inside 82 Grape Street.
Rochester Fire Chief John Caufield says that firefighters had to knock down the door to the first floor. They rescued a woman and a 2-year-old baby.
"The conditions just deteriorated incredibly quickly, to the point that the first hose line burned through," says Caufield. "The firefighters had no water. They were deep inside the building trying to extinguish a rapidly expanding fire."
Fire Chief John Caufield said firefighters were alerted to the fact that there may be children trapped on the second floor. They tried gaining entry to the second floor to attempt a rescue, but they had to leave the building because they were enveloped in flames.
"Firefighters actually went through fire climbing that ladder," says Caufield. "They got to the top of the ladder trying to make entry through that second floor window. There was heavy black smoke coming out the top of the window and they were trying to get out through the bottom of the window."
Despite their efforts, firefighter determined it was was too dangerous to try and enter the second floor.
Caufield says that all four children died on the second floor and three others jumped out the window. They are being treated at Strong Memorial Hospital.
He did not release names or ages, but said their ages ranged from as young as ten to as old as 15.
Caufield also said that when firefighters first arrived, they saw furniture on fire, but it quickly turned into an inferno in about a minute.
"In this case, in spite of the firefighters' heroic efforts, we had a tragic outcome here."
This is the first fatal fire in Rochester in more than two years.