UPDATE 1:00 p.m.: The fire appears to be under control and no more smoke can be seen coming from the house.

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The Voice spoke with Mark Cooper, the passerby who called in the emergency.

Cooper said that he just recently moved into a home on the 400 block of Cascadilla Street.

Cooper had been out for a morning walk, something he had done regularly to get to know the area, when he passed the home and heard fire alarms.

At first, Cooper did not see any smoke or other signs of danger, but when he passed by the house again a few moments later he saw smoke pouring from the home.

Cooper said that at that point he made the call to 911. At the same time, he went around to the front door and rang the door bell, then went to the back and garage doors of the home to ensure that no one was inside.

Ithaca firefighters were on the scene in less than two minutes.

Cooper, himself a former volunteer firefighter who recently got hired by Bangs ambulance, praised the dispatcher, saying that they asked a lot of questions and kept his mind running through the important details.

Asked about his own apparently calm demeanor during the situation, Cooper said, “It’s like a duck in water.” He said that while he may have appeared calm on the outside, inwardly his mind was racing.

As of 1:05 p.m., the homeowner is reportedly on the way.


Earlier —

ITHACA, NY – Ithaca firefighters are battling a house fire at the corner of Court and Washington Streets.

A passerby reported the fire to emergency services at around 12:30 on Friday.

Ithaca Police and Bangs ambulance are also on the scene.

Initial reports indicate that no one appears to be inside the home.

Jolene Almendarez contributed (pretty much all of the) reporting.

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.