At 23:38, Syracuse firefighters were dispatched to a reported fire in a back alley. On arrival, nothing was visible from side one. The first arriving engine directed the second due engine to the rear of the block long structure. In the rear, members had smoke showing from a 3 story ordinary construction building. Companies began an aggressive interior attack, but after only a minute, District Chief Don Johnson ordered everyone out of the building. It seems as though the second floor was filled with junk and storage, with very little room for companies to operate their lines. Additionally, the front windows of the 2nd and 3rd floors were boarded up. The first floor occupancy was a commercial business. Thick heavy brown smoke was pushing from the cornices of the structure. Shortly, flames were blowing out a window on side four of the second floor. The building was deceiving in that from the rear, only two stories were visible. This was as a result of the building being built into a slight hill.
Chief Johnson immediately asked for an additional engine and truck to the rear alley of the building. Outside operations commenced shortly after and thousands of gallons of water were dumped into the building. In total, there were four elevated stream devices; three towers and one squirt. The fire darkened down quickly, but due to the collapse of the center portion of the roof, hot spots on the second and third floors were stubborn and not easily penetrated by the master streams. A one story extension was framed off the back of the structure. Upon entering this one story addition, it was discovered that for some reason, the structure