Watertown firefighters tackle building fire | Government


WATERTOWN – A building on William Street in the city suffered extensive damage after a fire broke out on Wednesday morning.

The fire department has been fighting the fire at 121 William Street since approximately 7:30 a.m.

Teams fought the flames at the rear of the building, focused on the attic and second floor.

Battalion Commander Andrew Denney said crews were struggling to put out the flames in the attic.

“The rooms are blocked, inaccessible,” he said.

With most of the flames extinguished, Battalion Commander Denney said there was extensive damage to the rear of the building that made it difficult to know where one unit started and another ended.

Firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after the call at 7.28 a.m. The building threw smoke into the air for about an hour, before crews began to extinguish the last flames from the upper floors around 8:30 a.m. From 10 a.m., the teams remained on site to trigger small outbreaks and rue William remained closed to traffic.

Chief Denney said he heard that a person was treated on site for smoke inhalation, but no other injuries or deaths were reported. Shortly before 10 a.m., teams rescued a cat from an apparently unharmed first-floor apartment, and many residents were seen running away with their pets when the fire was first reported. .

Municipal Police Detective Joseph R. Donoghue Sr., who was at the scene, said the fire “is under investigation.” He confirmed that this was the same building that had been the scene of a small fire allegedly started by an unknown man.

On August 19, police said the man started the little one inside one of the units and then fled the scene. Police were subsequently unable to locate a person of interest involved in the fire.

“We are looking to see if these cases are related,” said Det. said Donoghue.

The property, listed with the city as built in 1950 and containing eight units, is owned by TheTriumph LLC, which has a New York address on the property map.

The LLC is owned by Meira Moet Shapiro, who has made headlines for other questionable properties she owns.

Last February, a three-unit apartment building at 603 Boyd St. that she owned was demolished after the city’s code enforcement office determined the structure was unsafe.

In August, tenants of a duplex at 639 Emerson Street were forced out of their homes after the home’s basement flooded and the city’s code enforcement office condemned the property.

The fire department had to pump out the basement which had four feet of water after a thunderstorm. Firefighters called the codes department after learning that the water heater had dislodged, causing a dangerous situation.

In 2018, Ms Shapiro, a Manhattan developer who owns a handful of rental properties in Oswego and about nine other properties in Watertown, became interested in rental properties in Watertown when she saw an online post of an apartment building. deteriorating at 504 Cooper St.

The city objected to her buying it and they did not acquire it. This building remains vacant.

She lives part-time in a residence in Mexico City. She also owns an apartment she bought in the Olympic Towers, the historic Manhattan building where Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Onassis lived and where the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has a residence.

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