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Albany leaders discuss Saturday's Yates Street fire, honor heroes

Albany leaders discuss Saturday's Yates Street fire, honor heroes (WRGB)

ALBANY (WRGB) - Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Albany Fire Chief Warren Abriel held a news conference Wednesday morning to discuss the recent house fire on Yates Street, and recognize the firefighters and two good samaritans who responded.

The fire happened last Saturday night. We're told nine people were in the house, and all got out safely. There was one apartment downstairs, and one upstairs. The red cross assisted the tenants after the fire.

Chief Abriel says the cause has been deemed electrical. He believes the fire started in a bedroom closet on the first floor.

Chief Abriel and Mayor Sheehan also recognized the firefighter's hard work during Wednesday's news conference.

"They don't always get the recognition they deserve." Chief Abriel said. He recognized the team effort that helped save the residents, and put the fire out quickly before it spread.

The Department also recognized two good samaritans who helped when the fire broke out.

Rick Stevens and Joe Keefe were down the block, and ran to help when the fire broke out before the firefighters were able to get to the scene.

"Every second counts." Rick Stevens said.

Joe Keefe found a family of three trapped on the 2nd floor balcony, and helped rescue a four year old boy. He convinced the panicking parents to drop the boy, and he would catch him. A ladder truck then rescued the parents from the balcony.

"I was trying to tell the whole family, don't worry I'll catch him, and we got him out of there and he was pretty shaken up and holding on pretty tight." Keefe said.

"I commend all of you, I am grateful, and on behalf of the residents in the city, I want to express my sincere gratitude to every one of you, and our good samaritans as well." Mayor Sheehan said.

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