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Two dead in early morning Schenectady fire

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SCHENECTADY-- "You know I'm numb, I just can't believe that, I'm just really sad about that," said David Murphy, a neighbor.

Shock turned to heartache, as the reality slowly sunk in: their neighborhood is forever changed.

"It's not going to be the same," said Tiara Gibbs, another neighbor."

Two less friendly faces on their street, after a massive early morning fire claimed the lives of a man and his young niece. Alyssa Preville's 5 year old brother was friends with her in school.

"He was telling me that he wanted to die and go to heaven so he could be with the little girl, it was hard and made me emotional hearing him say that," Preville said.

Preville took him to lay a gift down at a memorial set up across from the charred home. The child said he brought "a froggy teddy bear."

Others came bringing candles, cards, flowers, and sharing fond memories.

"I hung out with him everyday, I felt like he was a brother to me," Gibbs explained.

"He always smiled and he made you laugh, he was just a likable person," added Murphy.

Neighbors grinned as they remembered his warm greetings for everyone from the sidewalk.

"He was always so loud!" laughed Gibbs.

"Every time he would see you he'd be like yo! And that in itself just brightened up my day," Murphy said.

They say he gave the neighborhood life, and his will always be cherished.

"He'll never be forgotten. He was the neighborhood to tell you the truth, he was just a good guy, a good guy," said Murphy.

A total of 7 people were living in the house at the time, the other five were able to make it out alive.

Officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.


SCHENECTADY- Firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a fire that left a young girl and her uncle dead.

Firefighters say it broke out around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at a home on Sixth Avenue in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood.

Investigators are still trying to figure that out they exact cause but they do know that the fire that is not suspicious.

Meanwhile, family and friends have been gathering on Sixth Avenue all day setting up a makeshift memorial, crying and sharing stories.

Firefighters say seven people were inside the home on sixth avenue in schenectady when it went up in flames.

"Several people jumped from the second floor. We had fire showing from every window. We have three people being treated at Ellis Hospital as we speak,"

Schenectady Fire Chief Ray Senecal said. "I believe their injuries are minor, basically from jumping. Unfortunately, we do have two people I've confirmed, we do have two fatalities."

Friends and neighbors say one victim was a young girl who would have been entering the first grade. Stuffed animals and candles now sit on the grass across from where she lived.

"We were like family," neighbor Robin Gaige said. "It's devastating."

Gaige says she called the young girl "baby girl" and she is now in disbelief.

"Walking out everyday and not hearing the little girl," Gaige said. "Not seeing her in the window yelling to me, you know, 'Hi! How's the baby doing? I want to come over and play! When can I go swimming?'"

Gaige's husband Christopher Gaige says he saw the fire while leaving for work and tried to break a window and pull anyone from the home that he could.

"He heard the mother yelling for her baby. He goes out and her and him tried to go in the house, they tried to go through the front door," Gaige said. "The fire was just too much. Too hot."

Friends say the other person who died was the girl's uncle, who was in his mid twenties. The man was one of Carmen Y. Torres' good friends.

"Every time he saw me he'd go, 'Carmen, is that you? I see you!' and I'd do the same thing back to him," Torres said.

Torres says her friend was a character who did not let his physical disability get in the way. She says this neighborhood will never be the same without him.

"He was a gentle, loving, caring person. Always looked out for everybody," Torres said. "You will be missed, buddy. Love ya. I'm going to miss him. Lots."

Autopsies on the two victims are scheduled for Wednesday. Authorities are not releasing the names of the victims until after that is complete.


A small memorial has been set up on 6th avenue, after a young girl and her uncle perished in the fire, CBS6 has learned. Police have not released the names of the victims.

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