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Schenectady fire destroys 3 homes

SCHENECTADY -- Two people remained hospitalized Wednesday after a large fire Christmas Eve at 35 Moyston Street that spread to two other homes.

Firefighters were called just before 10 p.m. Tuesday and flames quickly spread to two adjoining homes. At least two residents were trapped inside.

We heard Corey was stuck inside, the son. My son grabbed a sledge hammer and tried to break the window but apparently that's when he jumped out. We didn't know there was still someone in there until the fire department showed up, said Joseph Rodriguez, Sr. who lives nearby.

Medics took both men to Ellis Hospital where at least one was moved to advanced care for his burns. Firefighters have not identified the victims.

They did good. They got in there and got him out and the flames were just flying. I never seen nothing like that, said Rodriguez.

Next door, Cheryl Horton was baking a cheesecake for Christmas when she heard sirens and saw the flames. Soon after, firefighters told her to move her car further down the street.

The flames were coming down. Pieces of debris were coming down so we quickly moved the car out and I thought for sure we were going to have to pack up. I told my husband several times we've got to pack up and get out of here, said Horton.

About a dozen people were displaced from the three homes. Investigators were still working to determine what happened and who lived where.

Temperatures last night were in the teens there was some wind last night. There were three buildings burning last night, so there were some challenges, said Chief Michael DellaRocco with the Schenectady Fire Department. Were talking with folks from one of the buildings and doing another canvas to gather information at this point.

Rodriguez says a grandmother lived in one of the homes with her four grandchildren and managed to grab a few gifts for the children before the home burned. They are now being cared for by the Red Cross.

She sat there [on the porch] and watched the whole scene unfold into the early morning hours. She was crying because the baby slept in that front room, which was saved if you notice and the rest of the house burned down, said Rodriguez. It's really tragic, really sad it happened on Christmas Eve.