Updated 07/12/2012 03:29 PM
Reminder of tragic fire demolished
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UTICA, N.Y. -- Demolition started Thursday on a building officials call a reminder of one of the most tragic days in the history of the Utica Fire Department.
Fire tore through the double family home at 935 - 937 Schuyler Street in May of last year.
Leida Santiago, 31, and her three sons, Julius Rolon, 4, Matias Rolon, 2, and Sebastian Rolon, 1, died in the fire.
The building now poses a safety issue and has become an eyesore in the neighborhood.
The State Supreme Court recently ruled the city could proceed with demolition. Officials say it's an important step toward moving on from the tragedy that still lives in the hearts of the community and first responders.
"We recall arriving within two minutes to find a wall of flame being fed by a broken gas line and being unable to successfully enter and rescue three children and their mother, although the firefighters made a valiant effort," said Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks.
The city also plans to tear down a fire-damaged building across the street from that home. Officials say the owners of both structures will be billed for the work.