Rochester firefighter released from hospital after warehouse fire; Property had 15 code violations

UPDATE: The firefighter has been released from the hospital after being injured in a slip and fall at the warehouse fire.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A firefighter is in stable condition at the hospital, one day after being injured at a five-alarm fire at a westside warehouse.

The Otis Street warehouse is tucked into a residential neighborhood, flanked by a park on the west side and homes on the east on Rogers Avenue.

Dozens who live there had to be evacuated as the fire intensified. They won’t be allowed back for another day or two, according to the Rochester Fire Department. Seventeen people and a dog are being helped with housing through the city’s Person in Crisis team.

The 52,000-square-foot warehouse stored wooden pallets. Calls came in just before 6 p.m. Monday night. Firefighters did not enter the building out of safety concerns. Indeed, the roof and three walls soon collapsed and the structure had to be demolished.

The vacant warehouse was boarded up by the City of Rochester in February, according to a City spokeswoman. It had 15 outstanding code violations, including inoperable fire alarm and sprinkler systems and a collapsed portion of roof, as well as a deteriorated parking lot and fencing. The fines tallied $11,800. The property owner owed the City nearly $200,000 in back taxes.

“At this time, it does not appear that any code violations were the cause of the fire,” according to the City.

The cause remains under investigation by the Arson Task Force.