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1 man, 3 children dead in Schenectady fire

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Updated: 5/02/2013 10:50 pm

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Schenectady Police say a 32-year-old man and his three young children were killed after a fire broke out in a two-story home at 438 Hulett Street early Thursday morning.

Five people, including the four killed, were transported to Ellis Hospital after the fire broke out around 4 a.m., Schenectady Fire Chief Michael DellaRocco said.

DellaRocco says three children were killed in the blaze; 11-month-old Donovan Duell, 2-year-old Michael Terry and 3-year-old Layah Terry. Their father, 32-year-old David Terry, was also killed. A fourth child, 5-year-old Safyre Terry, was air lifted to a burn center in Westchester and is listed in critical condition.

Schenectady Police say after "looking for" the mother of the children throughout the morning she appeared at the police station to talk with law enforcement, as the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The male victim's sister, Elizabeth Dolder, spoke with NEWS CENTER saying "we need prayers for Sappire." A make-shift memorial has been set up in front of the home for the four victims.

DellaRocco said it appeared to be "very serious" when firefighters arrived at the scene around 4 a.m. and was fully involved. Firefighters rushed into the second story of the home to remove the five victims before successfully putting out the fire at around 6 a.m., at which point the home was deemed at total loss, the roof having already collapsed.  ­­

A few people on the second floor were able to escape without injury through the back door and are being spoken to by fire officials to assess what may have happened.  

The family that lives on the first floor of the home woke up to the sound of smoke detectors and were all able to escape the home uninjured.

Several residences on the street had been evacuated and power shut down until the fire had been extinguished.

ATF fire investigators and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control will be on the scene for several hours later this morning.

The Hulett Street fire is the third to break out in Schenectady overnight. Two others were reported on Nott and Swan streets. Though they do not appear to be related, fire crews said it had been a tough night for city firefighters.

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