Woman who died in house fire on Hancock Street was an Army veteran
UPDATE (Thursday): Monroe County officials confirm that Christine Cannon, the 78-year-old who died in the house fire on Hancock Street on Jan. 27, was an Army veteran.
She served during the Vietnam War era, according to the county.
Police say they haven’t been able to identify Cannon’s relatives or next of kin. Evangela Stanley, the owner of the People’s Choice Kitchen Restaurant, is organizing a memorial service for Cannon and is helping those who lost their homes in the fire.
“I want to be the voice for her. I want to speak, and let people know what kind of great woman she was,” said Stanley.
The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office is asking anyone with information on Cannon’s next of kin to call them at (585) 753-5905. Her memorial will be at the Power House Kingdom Cathedral Church of God In Christ on Saturday, February 11, at 4 p.m.
UPDATE: (11 a.m.): A woman in her 70s died after police say she became trapped on the third floor of a multi-family home during an early-morning fire Friday.
RPD Capt. Frank Umbrino said they received a 911 call for a domestic dispute at the Hancock Street house. Shortly after, they got reports of the fire.
Umbrino said the woman who died was trapped on the third floor after the house became fully engulfed in flames. Rochester firefighters were able to check the first and second floors for people but couldn’t reach the third floor because of the damage.
The Arson Task Force, a collaboration between Rochester’s police and fire departments, is working to determine if the fire is related to the domestic call.
“There’s members of both the fire department and police department that conduct all investigations into fires that are either arsons or unknown causes,” Umbrino said. “It’s no different than any other suspicious death, if you will. Until we know for sure what it is we’re going to treat it as a crime scene and go from there.”
Members of the task force are interviewing witnesses. The Monroe County Medical Examiner recovered her body just after 10 a.m.
“We are conducting interviews at this time for everybody that was in the building, including individuals that were involved in the domestic dispute,” said Umbrino. “As of right now, there are no suspects in custody. Nobody has been charged with anything.”
He goes on to say that the victim was not involved in the earlier call to the home.
“The victim had no connection to the domestic dispute,” said Umbrino. “She was up on the third floor, and the domestic dispute happened somewhere else in the building in a different apartment. So she had nothing to do with the original domestic.”
After escaping the fire, two residents of the house were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Also, a firefighter suffered burns to his lower body. All of them have been released from the hospital. Residents who were previously unaccounted for are now accounted for.
The house is considered a total loss and crews have started demolishing parts of the building. Umbrino said he expects authorities to be at the scene for most of the day and possibly the night. You can see his full conference here:
UPDATE (8 a.m.): Crews have contained the fire at the house. A firefighter had burns to his lower body and was taken to the hospital, said Rochester Fire Executive Deputy Chief James Hartman. The Bureau of Buildings will demolish parts of the building to look for people.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Crews are currently battling a large, three-alarm fire at a house with multiple apartments on Hancock Street.
The Rochester Fire Department says they’re unable to account for all residents. Firefighters say they still haven’t been able to get up to the third floor. They were able to clear the first and second floors to make sure no one was trapped.
RFD responded at around 4:30 a.m. on Friday after getting reports of flames at the nine-apartment house. The house is between West Avenue and Chili Avenue. Two people had to be rescued and were taken to the hospital. Their injuries are non-life-threatening.
RFD says the condition of the house continues to worsen. At least 56 firefighters responded as of 6 a.m. RFD Executive Deputy Chief James Hartman said they’ll likely rotate firefighters for the next few hours.
Hartman said the interior stairs going to the third floor collapsed and the roof isn’t intact. After safety concerns, firefighters pulled out from inside the building and are battling the flames from the outside. Right now, they’re working to battle flames on the third floor and prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring buildings.
The scene is blocked off at least a block in every direction of this fire. News10NBC still has a crew on the scene.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. RFD is working with the American Red Cross to get housing for the families that were displaced by the fire. A bus is outside to keep the residents warm.
Hartman said they may need to get water from other streets such as Chili Avenue as they continue to battle the fire. He said winter weather makes fighting fires more difficult because of a slip-and-fall risk.