A fire at the West Street Apartments in the village of Macedon has left 17 people out in the cold for the holidays.

A fire at the West Street Apartments in the village of Macedon has left 17 people out in the cold for the holidays.

The call came in shortly after 6 a.m. this morning for a fire on a second-floor porch in the 16-apartment complex. Macedon Fire Chief Tim Wilcox said when he arrived on scene the fire had pushed up to the roof and had spread to an adjacent apartment.

Volunteer Firefighter Jesse Moon, a village Department of Public Works employee for the last 5 years, was plowing snow for the village when he heard the call and headed to West Street to help out. When he arrived he said there were a couple of other men there trying to get people out. Now almost 4 years as a volunteer firefighter, instinct kicked in and he went to work.

“I did what I was trained to do,” he said simply.

Moon began banging on doors, waking the occupants inside who were unaware that there was a problem and ensuring they left the building safely.

Wilcox said the weather was a factor in the fire spreading as high winds whipped snow about.
The cold also made it necessary for firefighters using hoses to fight the fire to rotate due to water spray. Wilcox said the safety equipment firefighters wear protects them for the most part from the elements, but after time they did start to get cold and for safety reasons rotating firefighters allowed them time to warm up again. Freezing water also created hazardous walking conditions.

“It was a pretty intense fire, especially with the wind,” he said. “But we knocked it down pretty quickly.”

Firefighting teams were able to access the building’s interior and knock down the fire quickly before it could spread further. As a result, only two apartments were destroyed by the fire, however another six sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

The 17 people displaced due to the fire were welcomed into a nearby home until the Red Cross arrived to help find them a place to stay.

Mayor Marie Cramer was pleased by how the community came together to help to fight the fire and to help those now homeless for the holidays.

“Everybody knew what their duties were and they all came together to help,” she said. “It was wonderful to see that.”

It appears the cause of the fire was related to smoking, Wilcox said, but it remains under investigation at this time.

Farmington Fire Department and Macedon Ambulance assisted at the scene and Egypt Fire Department was on standby.