October 23, 2021

4 people homeless after fire

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At least four people are being assisted by the Red Cross after a fire Saturday afternoon forced them from their home.

Cortland City firefighters, with aid from a Cortlandville ladder truck, responded at 3:45 p.m. to 40 Homer Ave. to a fire in the attic of a two-family dwelling. Cortland Capt. Dave Jensen said the fire was called in by a passer-by who saw smoke coming from the eaves. Crews had the fire knocked out by 4:02 p.m. and that it was contained to the attic.

Four people — two adults and two children — were displaced, but no injuries were reported, Jensen said. However, Red Cross spokesman Dan Hartman said the agency is helping five people.

No firefighters were hurt, and Homer fire crews stood by at city headquarters, Jensen said

“This reinforces having working smoke detectors” around this time of year, Jensen said. Jensen said smoke detectors are recommended in attics if they are insulated and they are required on every other floor of a home. It remains unclear whether smoke detectors alarmed the occupants to the fire. Jensen said that people should also “close before you doze,” meaning you should shut your bedroom door before falling asleep.

Jensen said the fire remains under investigation.