Homes on Rogers Avenue evacuated during five-alarm fire at Otis Street building

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester firefighters battled a five-alarm fire that started at a warehouse on Otis Street on Monday evening.

The fire took over the entire neighborhood on the city’s west side. Neighbors were evacuated and one firefighter went to the hospital with injuries.

The first calls came around 6 p.m. for the fire at the 52,000-square-foot warehouse that stored wooden pallets. By the time firefighters arrived, the building was engulfed in flames. They received premise warnings not to enter the building. The Rochester Fire Department said they used a master stream hose and disconnected power in the area to fight the fire.

Jose Gonzalez says he lives nearby and was driving home when he saw the smoke. He stopped to see what was going on.

“I’m thinking about all the houses around there,” Gonzalez said. “There’s a lot of families in the houses. I hope everybody is safe. “

Water, hoses, and ladder pipes were all used to fight flames that ripped through this warehouse and lit up the neighborhood of Otis Street.

“That allows us to put a large amount of water from high from above high, let it rain down and get into it now that we have a roof collapse and three wall collapses,” RFD Captain David Abdoch said.

Dozens of firefighters responded to this raging fire. And because the fire grew so rapidly it was too dangerous for firefighters to enter the building.

“Now it’s consumed the whole warehouse and where we’ve had some collapse of the walls and of the roof,” Abdoch said.

Firefighters have contained the fire and the occupants of the home are being assisted with housing. Because the walls collapsed, demolition crews had to take down the rest of the building.

“We have firefighters doing defensive attack which means we are staying on the outside spraying water on the inside, so we can keep firefighters safe at this point,” Abdoch said.

Abdoch says firefighters had their work cut out for them. This fire came with challenges due to exposure problems, which is when the heat can affect nearby homes.

“So on Rogers Avenue right now we have a bunch of exposure lines, large diameter hoses, two and a half inch size hose lines, that are protecting the homes from being burned,” Abdoch said. “We’re watering keeping the homes wet, while also spraying water on the warehouse that’s on fire.”

The firefighter who was hospitalized has non-life-threatening injuries.