WATERTOWN — City police continue to investigate last weekend’s fire in a duplex at 129 N. Orchard St. that might have been intentionally set.

Detective Joseph A. Giaquinto said Friday that investigators continue to pursue leads and conduct interviews in trying to figure out what happened.

“We’re still running down people to interview,” he said.

They’re also watching video taken of the fire scene.

Fire investigators from the city fire department and Jefferson County also continue to look into the fire.

Seven people were inside the duplex when the fire began around 6:30 a.m.

Three were hospitalized, with one female now in critical but stable condition in Upstate Medical Center and another victim who also remains in the Syracuse hospital.

A third victim was treated and released from Samaritan Medical Center.

The front half of a home had caught fire. Investigators determined the fire started on the porch, but nothing could be identified as an ignition source, resulting in the belief the fire was set intentionally.

City fire officials sent samples based on burn patterns to a state police lab for testing and are waiting for the results.

A family of six lived in one unit of the duplex and landlord Holly E. Gaskin lived in the other.

The family consisted of a 52-year-old mother, her daughter, 28, her son and his girlfriend, both 30, and two children, a girl and a boy, ages 11 and 5.

The fire engulfed the front half of the house and caused the evacuation of neighboring homes.

Firefighters brought the mother and daughter down a ladder. The son’s girlfriend also came down a ladder with assistance from Battalion Chief Tucker Wiley. On their way down, the ladder folded and they fell from the second floor.

The names of all those inside are not being released.

Anyone who might have any information about the fire should contact police at (315) 788-2233.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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