ALBANY, N.Y. -- A two-alarm fire tore through two homes in Albany Friday afternoon.
Two homes housing six families have been affected by the fire, and power to the entire block was shut off at one point.
According to Warren Ogren, he was sweating frozen pipes when he noticed the blaze in the rear of his apartment.
Ogden says he was using an electric space heater at the suggestion of a plumber who had been at the residence earlier in the day
By the time the Albany Fire Department arrived, the blaze had engulfed the buildings 159 and 161.
"We did have some obstacles other than the weather. We couldn't get to the rear of the buildings very quickly--they are in close proximity. The alley way is very tight so we had to use alternative means to get back there," said Chief Robert Forezzi.
It took 35 firefighters several hours to knock down the two-alarm blaze. Crews took turns battling the elements and found shelter in a fire trucks and a CDTA bus called in for relief.
The structures at 159 and 161 Dove St. were totally consumed by the fire and sustained partially collapsed rooftops. Neighboring buildings suffered heavy smoke and water damage.
According to Chief Robert Forezzi, pipe sweating is extremely dangerous especially when not done by a professional.
"So you're thawing pipes in the basement and the fires above you and you don't even know it. But we don't know if that was the cause yet," said Forezzi.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.