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UPDATE: Rensselaer Fire Kills Three, Injures Two


Three people including one child are dead and two injured after an early morning fire destroyed a home in the City of Rensselaer.

In a press conference carried by WTEN-TV, officials said five were trapped after the fire that broke out around 5 a.m. Sunday.

Authorities said Motassam Alshami, 17 escaped the fire and contacted a neighbor, who called 911.

Detective Scott Earing announced Safia Alblakhi, 68, Monzalah Alshami, 41, and Aymen Alshami, 8 died in the fire 

“It’s tragic. We have to do the best we can to determine how this happened. It’s a tragic incident all around,” said Scott Earing, a detective with the Rensselaer Police Department.

One child remains in critical condition at Clark Burn Center in Syracuse. Motassam, who contacted 911, was taken to Albany Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Five people were trapped after a fire broke out at a Rensselaer residence early Sunday morning. 

An earlier version of this story is included below:

The Rensselaer Fire Department was called to 900 Mann Avenue around 5 a.m. where five people were trapped inside the burning building.  

Calling it the most horrific fire he's seen in 42 years as a firefighter, Rensselaer Fire Chief William Hummel, told the Times Union all five people were taken to area hospitals.

Hummel declined to discuss the nature of the injuries but officials at the scene reportedly said they feared at least three people might die.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.