House fire in University neighborhood alarms SU students

House fire on Ackerman alarms SU students

A family dog died in the house fire Sunday night, while no civilians or firefighters were injured.
Published: April 11, 2022
Flames and smoke shoot from the roof during a house fire on Ackerman Avenue on April 11, 2022.
Firefighters rush into the building on Sunday night on Ackerman Avenue.

More than 50 Syracuse firefighters responded to a two-house fire near Syracuse University on Sunday night.

The incident was reported at 955-957 Ackerman Ave around 7:50 p.m. after a heavy fire started in the attic of the home. The Syracuse Fire Department stated in a Facebook post that the fire had spread to a neighboring home, 959-961 Ackerman Ave, prompting incident commanders to call for a second alarm assignment.

“​​Crews immediately began searching both buildings for trapped or endangered occupants while working to extinguish the flames. It took approximately 20 minutes to extinguish the fire in 959-961, and 30 minutes to extinguish the fire in 955-957,” the SFD wrote. “A family dog was reported dead at the scene of the fire at 955-957 Ackerman.” No other injuries were reported.

Communication and Rhetorical Studies senior Annalise LoBiondo, a resident on Sumner Avenue, which lies adjacent to Ackerman Avenue, says after receiving a call from a friend describing the scene, she was immediately alarmed.

“We walked over to Ackerman where Stratford is and the whole street was blocked off,” LoBiondo said. “You could kind of tell they were just putting the fire out. You couldn’t see flames but there was a ton of smoke.”

A University Neighborhood resident looks on as firefighters respond to a fire at house on Ackerman Avenue on April 10, 2022.

Health and Exercise Science senior Camille Juliano, who lives on the corner of Ackerman Avenue and Stratford Street, shared similar feelings of confusion after first hearing the commotion outside around 8:00 p.m.

“Gabby, my roommate, was like ‘Camille there’s a house on fire.’ We looked out her window and saw… huge flames coming out of the top of the house on the next block, probably about eight houses down.”

Juliano and her roommates soon rushed outside, along with other residents in the area, and watched as the fire continued to engulf the houses.

After the fire was put out, photos began circulating on social media showing the shattered windows and burned walls of the complex. National Grid, AMR, and the Syracuse Police Department all responded to the scene, a startling sight for students residing in this area.

“We eventually felt kind of bad just standing there watching because it felt hard for the people that were living there,” said Juliano. “Our other roommate went to go talk to the person that lives in the downstairs part of the house and that’s when we found out a little more about what happened. There was a fire in the attic and the person who lived in that apartment wasn’t home at the time, but his dog was.”

The SFD says that the local chapter of the American Red Cross will be working to assist occupants displaced by the fire. Members of the Fire Investigation Bureau are still working to determine the cause.