UPDATE (11:27 a.m. Thursday) — A massive fire at a Dryden apartment complex Wednesday appears to have been caused by discarded cigarettes, the Dryden Fire Department says.

Firefighters responded to a reported fire at 5:29 p.m. Wednesday on the porch of Apartment A at Poets Landing on 10 Keats Way in the Village of Dryden. The fire started at an eight-unit, multi-family apartment building.

All occupants had safely evacuated before the Dryden Fire Department arrived. No one was injured in the fire.

When crews arrived, they entered the building, but heavy fire made them withdraw. The fire was brought under control by 6:30 p.m. and crews remained on the scene until 11:30 p.m.

The fire appears to be caused by improperly discarded cigarettes, according to a news release form Dryden Fire Chief Mike Hall.

In the wake of the fire, which displaced 31 people, the fire department urges people “to use extreme care when discarding cigarettes or other smoking materials.”

The American Red Cross is helping the families that were displaced.

Dryden had help from several other departments, including Etna, Freeville, Groton, Harford, Varna, Virgil, McLean and Cortlandville. Dryden Ambulance, TLC Ambulance, Dryden Police, New York State Police, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response, New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and American Red Cross also assisted.

EARLIER VERSION — 

UPDATE (9 p.m.) — Eight families and 31 residents have been impacted after a large fire at the Poets Landing Apartments in Dryden, according to the American Red Cross.

At about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dryden firefighters responded to a reported “fire on a porch spreading rapidly.”

Firefighters still on the scene as of 9 p.m., according to a Tompkins County dispatcher, but all roads have reopened.

No injuries have been reported.

The American Red Cross is providing assistance to people who were impacted by the fire. The Red Cross typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing as needed. Disaster Mental Health volunteers are also available to help with the emotional aspect of disaster, a news release said. People affected will meet with caseworkers in the coming days to work on a longer-term recovery plan.

In the wake of the fire, the American Red Cross reminds every household to check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. As part of the Home Fire Campaign, the Red Cross works with fire departments and community groups to install free smoke alarms in homes that need them.

For more information or to schedule an installation appointment, call 607-785-7207 or email smokealarms.st@redcross.org.

The Dryden Fire Department said it will provide more details at a later time.

Earlier — 

DRYDEN, N.Y. — Firefighters are battling a large fire at an apartment complex in Dryden.

A structure fire was reported at 5:27 p.m. Wednesday at the Poets Landing Apartments on Keats Way in Dryden, off Route 38 across from Dryden High School, according to at Tompkins County dispatcher. As of 6:48 p.m., firefighters were still battling the fire.

Multiple apartments are affected, the dispatcher said, and people have been evacuated. The dispatcher said he has not heard of any injuries.

The scene of the fire at 6:40 p.m. Provided by Matthew Cole.

Drivers are advised to stay away from the area while crews work on the scene. As of 6:48 p.m., Route 38 is closed between North Street by Queen Diner and Springhouse Road. Traffic is being rerouted to Route 13.

Dryden Fire Department and several other fire departments are responding, including Etna, Freeville, Groton, Varna, Mclean and Cortlandville. Cayuga Heights is standing by at the Dryden station. Dryden police, New York State Police, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention Control and the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office are also responding.

The American Red Cross has also been notified to help displaced residents.

Featured image provided by Lyndsi Prignon.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.