BINGHAMTON, NY – A massive fire on Front Street in Binghamton has left one third of the Binghamton University men’s lacrosse team homeless.
Right before 9 this morning, a thick column of black smoke could be seen rising from 74 Front, across the street from the Binghamton High School parking ramp.
Soon after, heavy flames began billowing out of the front of the old wood-frame building.
All 15 tenants, members of the BU lacrosse team, were able to escape unharmed, although they left with only the clothes they were wearing, many of them barefoot or wearing slippers.
Sophomore Patrick Murad lost his laptop, furniture, clothes and all his other possessions, but he’s grateful that no one got hurt.
“It was 8:30. I was on the first floor in the basement. All of a sudden, I hear ruckus above me. People were going crazy. The fire alarms started going off. And then I heard 2 kids run downstairs, one of my friends, Justin, came down screaming at all of us, getting everyone out. All of a sudden, I go out and the whole house is already in flames. By the time I walk outside, the whole upstairs, pretty much from the second floor up was all in flames,” he says.
Binghamton firefighters initially entered the building but had to be called out when the fire reached the roof.
They were able to keep the blaze from igniting the neighboring 76 Front Street.
“All the siding is melted on the side of the building, there was a lot of flames, it was pretty hot. But they gave it a quick knock down when they got here. But that building seems okay besides the siding being melted,” said Binghamton Fire Chief Dan Eggleston.
BU Athletic Director Pat Elliott came to the scene to offer the athletes assistance.
He tells NewsChannel 34 that the school will assist the lacrosse team members with finding new housing.
Demolition of 74 Front began this afternoon.
The fire is still under investigation although the Fire Marshal says the cause is not suspicious.