Ben Parker / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

The fire continued to blaze on Buffalo Street.

September 9, 2019

One Dead in Fire on East Buffalo Street in Collegetown, Police Say

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A fire on East Buffalo Street drew multiple police cars, firetrucks and ambulances to the area, blocking the road west of Schuyler Road from vehicle traffic Monday night.

One person was confirmed deceased, Acting Police Chief Dennis Nayor said. The victim has been identified, and police have notified the victim’s family, Nayor said. There is an active investigation occurring on scene.

By around 9:45 p.m., the road had been cordoned off with multiple vehicles parked up and down the street. Individuals who lived in the block were told to park elsewhere, but were being permitted to walk on the sidewalk.

At 11:12 p.m., the fire was still burning, and smoke could be smelled from Collegetown and West Campus. At least 10 emergency vehicles had responded to the scene, including the Ithaca Fire Department, Bangs Ambulance and Cornell University Police.

Emergency responders were bringing in plastic-wrapped Wegmans water packs at around 11:40 p.m. as the blaze continued, with smoke pouring from the upstairs windows. At that time, the top of the house was just beginning to blacken.

Around 12:25 a.m.., the top of the building caught fire.

Smoke from the fire near Collegetown prompted West Campus employees to warn their residents.

Assistant House Dean of Keeton House Aaron King warned residents about smoke at 11:16 p.m., stating in an email that “there is a house fire in Ithaca and smoke is carrying up the hill to us.”

Graduate Resident Fellow Stephen Kim of McFaddin Hall on West asked students to “close any hallway, stairway, and common room windows that you see open out of consideration to your neighbors who may be more sensitive to smoke particles in the air.”

He also cautioned residents to avoid the lower Collegetown area. Cornell Weather, a student-run meteorology service, warned students on Twitter that due to the relative lack of wind, smoke would likely linger over campus.

Sarah Skinner ’21 contributed reporting. This story will be updated.