A local resident living without power started a fire that destroyed a third-floor apartment after using Sterno cans and a camping stove to try and stay warm, said City of Poughkeepsie Fire Chief Mark Johnson.
The blaze began around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday at 77 Marshall St., when something caught on fire from one of the sources of heat, he said.
When firefighters arrived on scene flames and smoke were visible as occupants made their way out of the building, Johnson said.
Freezing conditions slowed down operations with "everything turning to ice," the chief said.
Although firefighters were able to put out the fire and be back in station within two hours at 5:48 a.m., he added.
All of the residents were able to escape the building and no firefighters were injured during the incident. Power had to be cut to the lower apartment due to water running down the walls, making for unsafe conditions, Johnson said.
The third-floor apartment was completely destroyed.
"We tell residents the same thing every year," Johnson said. "If you don't have power or a way to keep warm let your landlord or someone know so you can be helped. Don't use devices that are not approved for heating. That is a recipe for disaster."
The department was assisted by Arlington, Fairview, and Highland fire districts, and Mobile Life Services. Pleasantville,
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