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AUBURN — A vacant single-family home at 37 Sheridan St. in Auburn is a total loss after an early morning fire Thursday and is scheduled to be torn down by the city as early as next week.

Crews were called to the scene at 2:44 a.m. after a neighbor called in the blaze, said Auburn Fire Department Captain Mike Deyneka. When firefighters arrived, the second floor of the home had already collapsed into the first floor. 

Deyneka said a second alarm call was made, and it became an exterior operation. It took about 90 minutes to get the fire under control. No one was inside of the home, and no firefighters were injured.

During Thursday night's Auburn City Council meeting, Director of Planning and Economic Development Jenny Haines announced the structure is scheduled for emergency demolition "in the interest of public safety." She said Chief Joseph Morabito has already issued a letter requesting immediate demolition and the city engineering office has gotten a contractor mobilized. The city needs to give the state three day's notice before demolishing the home in order to determine "what materials may or may not be in the structure," Morabito said.

"They (the state) have to give the final approval," Morabito said. 

The city will be paying for the demolition up front, Haines said, but Assistant Corporation Counsel Nate Garland believes the city can be reimbursed through the state Department of Financial Services because the building was on the vacant building registry. The city could also be reimbursed through its insurance.

"We are definitely pursuing all means necessary to be reimbursed," Haines said.  

The destroyed house was built in 1900, according to real property records, and is owned by Federal National Bank in Philadelphia. Morabito said the property was placed on the fire department's vacant building registry in February 2017. 

After the meeting, Morabito said the on-site investigation has been completed and the fire department was able to rule out all "accidental and natural" causes of the fire. He said the demolition will not hinder any further investigation.

The chief also requested anyone with any information about the fire contact either the fire department at (315) 253-4031 or the Auburn Police Department at (315) 253-3231. 

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