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4 die in upstate NY house fire as crews respond to woman's desperate call

Posted at 1:05 PM, Jul 08, 2023

NEW SCOTLAND, N.Y. (AP) — Four people died, including a 5-year-old girl, when a fire swept through a house west of Albany, New York, just before sunrise Saturday.

Fire crews rushed to the home after a desperate call from a woman, who told a 911 dispatcher that she was trapped in a room with a child and unable to escape through a window because of an air-conditioning unit.

“It’s a horrible scene,” Albany County Sheriff Craig D. Apple Sr. told reporters. “I feel horribly for the family, the neighbors."

The Albany Times-Union reports that a 14-year-old boy survived the flames by jumping out of second-story window as fire crews arrived. He was being treated for scrapes and bruises.

A dispatcher tried to help direct the woman and child out of the burning house but was unsuccessful. By the time fire crews arrived, the blaze had engulfed the house on Normanskill Road in the town of New Scotland, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) west of New York's Capitol.

The Times-Union says the address coincides with that of a fruit and vegetable stand listed as Circle Tree Farm.

The names of the victims weren't yet released but authorities said that in addition to the child, those who perished include a 40-year-old woman and two men, aged 35 and 64.

Investigators say they think they know where the fire started but have been unable to get into the gutted home to confirm.