Syracuse, N.Y. – At 1:04 P.M. today, firefighters were called to a large vacant building behind 423 West Onondaga Street for a reported fire. Squad Company 1 arrived in just over one minute, and reported that flames and heavy smoke were visible. The building was boarded up, and it took crews a few minutes to gain entry. Once inside, firefighters immediately began searching the large building for any victims while simultaneously working to extinguish the flames. It took approximately twenty minutes to fully extinguish the fire. The Syracuse Police Department, AMR, and National Grid also responded to the incident. No injuries were reported, and the SFD Fire Investigation Bureau is currently working to determine the origin and cause of the fire.
While crews were battling that fire, a severe thunderstorm rolled through the area causing significant damage. The storm brought trees and power lines down in several different parts of the city. In just under one hour, the Syracuse Fire Department received 44 calls for help. Fire department resources were stretched very thin during that time. As of 2:30 P.M., some fire department units remain on the scene of downed trees or wires.