Busy Sunday night for Ithaca Fire Department, and a very lucky resident

April 13, 2015 by Rachel Cera

The Sunday night shift was a busy one for Ithaca's firefighters, and a resident of one of the buildings was lucky to have alert neighbors. Two of the incidents involved cooking mishaps.

Ithaca Fire Department. 14850 file photo.Ithaca Fire Department. 14850 file photo.Firefighters were first called to the scene of a reported structure fire on Cleveland Avenue at about 8pm on Sunday night. An electric stove malfunctioned and filled the house with smoke, causing the resident, who was cooking at the time, to call for help. Crews cleared the house of smoke and disconnected the electric stove, and the resident was able to stay in the home.

Another cook dozed off while a late-night snack was on the stove, and "was passed out with the alarm blaring in his apartment, as it filled with smoke," IFD spokesperson Lt. Thomas T. Basher Jr. tells us. Other building residents in a Stewart Avenue house below Cornell's west campus woke up at the sound of the smoke alarm, got out of the building, and called 911. 

"Two firefighters got the individual up and out of the house while other crews worked to clear out the smoke," Basher says. Bangs Ambulance crews checked the resident for injuries, but he declined treatment. "The cause of the fire was food left burning on the stove," Basher says, adding that the incident "serves as a reminder of the dangers of cooking and falling asleep."

One last call for the night at about 6am brought firefighters to Cornell University's north campus, where a malfunctioning ice maker in the Appel Commons building "caught fire and filled the kitchen area with smoke," IFD says. Cornell Environmental Health & Safety personnel were able to put the fire out with an extinguisher. The building was evacuated, and firefighters ventilated the building and checked for any other signs of fire before letting building staff back in to begin their day. 

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