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Clean-up begins after massive fire destroys a Rochester apartment building

December 11, 2018 08:34 AM

Crews worked into the overnight hours tearing down an apartment building on Thurston Road in Rochester.

Officials say the building was no longer stable after a fire tore through the entire structure Monday morning and burned for more than four hours.

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News10NBC learned there were 28 units at 440 Thurston Road, but officials say 12 people were living there at the time of the fire. 

Investigators are working to determine what started this fire, forcing several people from their homes.

Fire crews arrived at the scene on Thurston just before 8:30 a.m. and the fire burned until just after 12:45 p.m.

When fire officials arrived, they found smoke barreling from the building. Fire officials say every floor of the three-story building burned.

A firefighter fell through the ceiling and landed on the floor underneath but officials say he is okay. One resident was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Cynthia Arnold lived in the building on Thurston Road. She was out walking her dog as the smoke filled the walls. Arnold along with 11 other people living in the building have lost everything.

"I've been in my apartment almost 13 years and I have a lot of clothing, my apartment is fully furnished and the Christmas tree is up," Arnold said. "It's just going to be one of those Christmases that I will always remember."

We're told this fire was so massive, nearby fire departments had to help the Rochester Fire Department.

Amon Hudson, public information officer with the department said this is one of the largest fires he has seen in his 15-year career with the department, and investigators face an uphill battle.

"It is a little tougher to determine a cause when the building is knocked down," Hudson said. "Our fire investigators will try to do the best they can."

Investigators will comb through the remains to try to figure out what caused this blaze.

The Red Cross has stepped in to help those people who were forced out of their homes find temporary housing.

A stretch of Thurston Road will remain closed throughout the day as crews finish the cleanup.

Credits

Kaci Jones

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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