Fire destroys historic building in Palmyra

Posted at: 05/03/2013 4:15 PM
Updated at: 05/03/2013 11:29 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

Flames rip through an historic building in Palmyra. A fire department captain say it's the worst fire he's seen in a decade.

While officials say no one lost their lives, many people lost a lot of their belongings.

The fire burned for several hours. Fire officials say the first call came in just after 2:30p.m. Friday afternoon. They say the fire broke out on the third floor of the building on East Main Street, which is also Route 31.

A person was rescued from the building and taken to the hospital. We don't know their condition.

The fire took a lot of resources to fight. A captain with the Palmyra Fire Department says more than a hundred firefighters from 13 agencies helped battle the blaze. He says officials declared the fire under control just after 7:00p.m. Friday.

Captain Bob Devlin says they don't know how this fire started, but it was a tough one to fight.

Devlin says three firefighters were taken to the hospital for dehydration and heat exhaustion. Officials say they don't know just yet what will happen to the building.

Many people's lives are invested in this building, they either live there or have a business there. The 200 block of Main Street in Palmyra is an historic area. It has been on the national registry for years. It is too soon to tell if it can be saved, but News10NBC has learned that nine people displaced by the fire literally lost everything.

Smoke and flames filled the air in Palmyra. The three-story apartment building caught fire sending residents outside and dozens of firefighters to the scene to battle the blaze for four and a half hours.

Jamie Wilson said, “My husband had taken the dog out for a walk and he called me and said there is smoke coming out of the front apartments and I logged out of my computer, came outside and by the time I came out, not even two minutes later, there was already smoke coming out the back.”

Jamie Wilson lives in an apartment next to the building that caught fire and watched as the flames destroyed apartment after apartment and the stores below.

Wilson said, “I couldn't believe it. I lost it. I did. I lost it at first. Just knowing that they are all my neighbors and nobody can afford this. These are people that we just saw shopping at Walmart today they are people that are expecting babies any day now that have nothing.”

Wilson was able to return to her apartment and grab a few things after the fire was under control. She is thankful her place is ok and that no one was seriously hurt. But she says this is something that will change the whole community.

Wilson said, “I just can't imagine Palmyra now cause they are going to have to take these buildings down I think and it's never going to be the same again.”

The Palmyra American Legion is collecting items for these families whom have lost everything. They are taking anything from monetary donations to clothes and blankets. You can reach the American legion at (315) 597-2412.

Photos courtesy of Goldy's Goodies and Custom 31.