ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - State police are investigating what they say is a suspicious fire at an Alexandria Bay duplex Wednesday morning.
Firefighters were called to the 2 Washington Street home shortly before 8:30 a.m. It took less than half an hour to extinguish the blaze.
Jefferson County deputy fire coordinator Bruce Reome says the fire started upstairs and the person who lived there has been displaced because of extensive smoke and fire damage.
“It was speculated that the entrapment was in the upstairs, the apartment of origin. That was later determined not to be true. There was nobody in the upstairs apartment," said Reome.
The Red Cross has been called in to help.
Police helped an elderly woman who lived downstairs get out safely. She was treated for smoke inhalation and declined further treatment.
“We safely evacuated that person from her residence,” state police Sgt. Dominic Doldo said. “There was no active fire in the apartment at that time. We were able to safely assist her from her residence and she was evaluated by the local ambulance, but was not transported for treatment."
Firefighters from Alexandria Bay, Redwood, Plessis, and Clayton were called to help fight the blaze.
The duplex is at the corner of Washington and Church streets.
Michelle Homer lives next door to the apartment. She said she heard a commotion Tuesday night coming from the apartment where the fire started.
"I heard the window, I looked out, and it was the window on the stairway. Yes, that was either kicked or punched out because the plastic of the window inside was pushed out," she said.
After the fire broke out, Homer was first awakened by one of her neighbors.
Homer said emergency responders evacuated everyone quickly and they're fortunate they weren't hurt.
“It was all smoke and the flames coming out. And, I’m lucky I got woken up, and everybody else did because, it could have been more fatal than it was,” she said in reference to unconfirmed reports that a cat died in the blaze.