65 residents lose homes in early morning fire at Perinton apartment complex

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PERINTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — Sixty-five people lost their homes when a fire ran through the Pines of Perinton apartment complex early Tuesday morning.

Fairport Fire Department Deputy Chief John Overacker says the call for the fire came in at 3:29 a.m. Tuesday. When crews arrived, there was heavy fire in the roof. He said smoke alarms were going off and many people were evacuated and put on an RTS bus to stay warm. No residents or firefighters were injured.

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Overacker said crews also had to navigate around a damaged fire hydrant.

"We had one hydrant that was broken off at the stem, so we weren’t able to use it so after finding additional resources for water supply it provided a kink in the mix and had to find others to use, including up on the main road here on 250," Overacker said.

A total of 18 units were involved, with those residents now being sheltered at the Perinton Community Center. The Red Cross will assist in emergency housing for those residents. The Fairport School District and other local emergency agencies are in talks to be able to keep the residents warm and provide food.

In all, three alarms were called due to the size of the complex and the need for manpower and resources. The fire was declared under control at 8:45 a.m.

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Overacker said fire crews will be on the scene most of the day. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

Shirley Hall, one of the displaced residents, told News10NBC reporter Stephanie Duprey that what she saw, looked like a scene from a movie.

“Like fire, you know like a cartoon, it was green, it was shooting up I’ve never seen anything like that before, and it was black smoke and it was rolling,” Hall said.

She also told us how firefighters saved her life.

"I couldn’t catch my breath so I got up and looked at the window and I looked out the window all the sudden I heard boom boom kicking on the door to get out, so we grabbed what we could,” Hall said.

She was taken to the Town of Perinton Community Center by RTS bus. When Duprey interviewed her she was visibly upset, praying that she hadn’t lost all of her belongings.

"I’m just hoping my stuff… lots of people are concerned because they left their doors open, everyone was panicking," Hall said.