Rochester community pulls together for families who lost everything in Thurston Road fire

December 12, 2018 08:35 AM

Jessica Correa and her mom came back to 440 Thurston Rd. to see what was left of the building.

It was almost too overwhelming. They lost everything. They want to know what started the fire that destroyed the building and everything the 12 tenants living there owned. 


"The fire was running for three hours before my mom contacted the fire for all that fire and smoke to have time to accumulate, how was the fire initiated?" questioned Correa.

She said her family is taking it one day at a time. It's all she says they can do. "It's a lot of unanswered questions. We have questions, we need answers," Correa added. 

Monday's raging inferno caused so much damage that the building was deemed unsafe, so it was demolished.

However, the building's absence makes it tougher for fire investigators.

"What fire investigators do when they get on scene, they generally start from the outside and work their way inward to the cause or where they think the bulk of the fire may be at. So it's still that same far as going on the outside and working in," said Amon Hudson, Rochester Fire Department.

Amon Hudson is the public information officer for the Rochester Fire Department. He says investigators have a checklist. They look for faulty wiring and materials that could start a fire and much more.

While some evidence is gone that they would normally have to look at, he says they have other tools like "talking to the resident...doing interviews, if there are cameras in the area, checking the cameras and following all leads." 

Rochester Police are asking that if you have any information about the fire, call 311. 

In the meantime, the community is pulling together this Wednesday for the families that lost everything. 

Community leaders are hosting a relief drive Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Eclipse Bar and Lounge at 372 Thurston Rd. Donations of clothing, money and other necessities will be collected at the drive.

But that's not all. 

The Monroe County Clerk's mobile DMV unit will be there to replace any driver's licenses, state ID cards, vehicle registration documents or titles lost in the fire, and the county's Office of Vital Records will also be available for residents who lost important personal documents in the blaze. 

"It is my sincere hope that Rochester will come together to help their neighbors in need after this devastating fire.  All are encouraged to drop off clothes, food and hygiene products, and service providers are also invited to attend. Residents who have been displaced because of the fire are welcome to join us tomorrow.  If they are not able to attend, we will get all donations to those in need," said City Council Vice President McFadden. "Rochester has always been an incredibly generous community, it is my hope that this call to action will be no different.  


Lynette Adams

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