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College student seriously injured in early morning fire

— An early morning house fire erupted on Couch Street on Sept. 20 with a SUNY Plattsburgh student sustaining serious injury.

At approximately 1:15 a.m. City Police received a 911 call reporting a structure fire at 15 Couch Street, a multi-unit apartment house where 11 people lived including several college students.

Patrol Officers responded with the fire department. Upon their arrival, flames were seen emanating from the second and third stories. A 21-year-old female was trapped in a third story window until the fire department could get to her with a ladder and rescue her. She was taken to CVPH and then airlifted to the Clark Burn Center at Syracuse Upstate University Hospital for treatment. According to a press release produced by Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot the young woman is in serious condition.

According to Michelle Ouellette, Associate Director of Public Relations and Publications, there were eight SUNY Plattsburgh students, including the young woman who sustained injuries, living at the house and one Clinton Community College student. It was unclear how many units the building had or how many other residents lived at the house.

City Detectives were called in to investigate the cause and origin of the fire. It was determined the fire was accidental and started in electrical wiring within the walls of a second story apartment.

Assistant Fire Chief Randy Stone said several departments aided in extinguishing the fire including the City of Plattsburgh, South Plattsburgh and District Three. The Peru and Cumberland Head departments were also on standby. Fire department members stayed on scene until about 7 a.m., Stone said.

In a statement, Plattsburgh State President John Ettling said: “Our thoughts are with the residents of 15 Couch St. and especially the injured student, who was airlifted to Syracuse for treatment. Our hearts are with her and her family as she struggles to recover from her injuries.”

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