Front Street Fire Survivor Out of Hospital

By Mike Trim

July 22, 2010 Updated May 10, 2006 at 12:53 AM EDT

The investigation into a fire that killed four people uncovers some new details and the recovery for the neighborhood and survivors of the fire on Front Street is moving slowly along.

Fire survivor, 56-year-old Michael Ray, is also out of the hospital.

While rubble from a deadly fire sits at 233 Front Street, the investigation is up and running.

Binghamton Fire Marshall Dan Eggleston says what started the fire still isn't clear, but what caused it to burn out of control is.

Investigators say Acetylene and oxygen tanks originally thought to be left in the basement were in the living room when the fire began.

"They did contribute to the spread of the fire, they were located by the bottom of the stairs. That definitely was one of our explosions. The acetylene tank did rupture and the oxygen tank also," says Binghamton Fire Marshall.

Eggleston says the tanks did not start the fire that killed 34-year-old Laurie Ray and three of her children and spread to neighboring homes.

The church that sits at 231 Front Street was so badly damaged from the fire that the city will hold a damage assessment hearing with corporation council within the next 30 days to determine the future of the property.

Other homes damaged included 235 Front Street, along with 8 and 10 Winding Way.

Binghamton Code Enforcement says they're now safe for people to move back.

The Red Cross has been helping everyone who had to evacuate.

It's provided money for food, clothing, and temporary lodging to four people

Mental health workers have also been on hand for counseling.

"Some of the families don't have any other resources. And If they can get to us first or we can get to them first, we can help them," said Sharon Aswad of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross is now preparing to help Michael Ray and his daughter Courtney who survived the fire.

A case worker is expected to meet with the family Wednesday.

The Fire Marshall's office says Rays Insurance Company has secured his property and should handle cleanup.

Meanwhile, investigators are trying to get video from a surveillance camera outside the Broome County Health Department and review Action News video to help determine the cause.

While the fire is not suspicious, the State Police Crime Lab is examining some samples collected from the home.

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