WATERTOWN — Six people who were inside a house that caught fire Sunday morning are reported to be out, with at least one transported to Samaritan Medical Center.
At around 6:30 a.m., the city fire department was dispatched to 129 N. Orchard St. When crews arrived, they found the front half of the house fully-engulfed in flames.
Battalion Chief Tucker Wiley was one of the first on the scene. He said he found a woman calling for help from one of the second-floor windows. Mr. Wiley used a ladder to climb to the window and pull the woman out, however the weight of the two folded the ladder on their way down.
Crews are working a house fire on S Orchard Street in Watertown this morning pic.twitter.com/vwr0kJqLId— Ben Muir (@muirbenj) November 24, 2019
“Not the whole way,” Mr. Wiley said when asked if they fell down.
The woman was transported to Samaritan Medical Center, and he was unclear of her condition.
“I haven’t seen her since we got her out,” he said.
The cause of the fire is still unclear. Mr. Wiley said it’s likely not a total loss.
“Structurally, it’s alright,” he said. “They’ll need a hell of a contractor.”
City fire and Fort Drum fire were still looking for hot spots at around 8:30 a.m., and North Orchard Street was closed from Arsenal Street to Prospect Street.
Jeanette Jewett lives next door to the house. She went to work at Samaritan at 6:19 a.m. and said there were no flames at the time.
“The first thing I do in the morning is check the houses because fire scares me,” Ms. Jewett said.
When the fire ignited, Ms. Jewett said she left work and went back because two of the six people who live inside the engulfed house were missing.
“I just made sure all the kids were OK,” she said. “A couple are at the hospital but everybody is out.”
She said she has lived there for nearly 27 years and would consider her neighbors close friends. An empty lot separates Ms. Jewett’s house and the one that caught fire. That’s where they have cookouts together, she said.
“That’s why we keep everything in the middle,” she said, pointing toward the empty lot with two grills and a picnic table sitting on it. “It’s all mine, but we share it.”
Ms. Jewett was visibly emotional as she and her family watched firefighters work the house.
“I’m just glad everybody is out,” she said.