Update: Cohoes fire forces injured woman onto roof

Posted at: 05/04/2013 5:42 PM
Updated at: 05/05/2013 12:37 AM
By: Steve Flamisch

COHOES -- Fire swept through a house Saturday, forcing an injured woman to crawl out through a second floor window and take refuge on the roof.

The dramatic scene played out at about 1:20 p.m. at 90-92 Manor Ave., a multi-family home near the intersection with Cottage Ave.

"I noticed the woman coming out of the window," Shawn Bariteau, a passerby who stopped to help, told NewsChannel 13. "I climbed up... on the side of the house to the roof to coax her down, and she was sitting on the top of the roof. She was just frozen."

Bariteau said he tried to convince the woman to move toward him, but she was too frightened of falling. Soon, firefighters arrived and reached the woman with a ladder.

"She had some flash burns on her cheeks," Bariteau said. "Her nose was cut. Her feet were bleeding."

The woman, whose name was not released, suffered smoke inhalation and burns to about five percent of her body, Fire Chief Joseph Fahd said. She was transported to a local hospital then airlifted to Westchester Medical Center. Her condition was unknown early Sunday.

The downstairs tenant, Daniel Schneider, escaped without injury. The occupants of the third unit, a married couple and their three children, were not home when the fire broke out.

The house is a total loss, Schneider and Chief Fahd said. The American Red Cross will provide emergency housing to the occupants for three days.

"I have three days to figure out where I'm going to go, what I'm going to do," Schneider said.

Two dogs were found unharmed after the fire, neighbors said. No pets were killed, injured, or missing.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.