Fire tears through home, ruled total loss (with photos)

By Jillian Marshall

Fire tears through home, ruled total loss (with photos)

March 4, 2014 Updated Mar 5, 2014 at 5:48 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A Vestal home burned for more than four hours and was ruled a total loss, fire officials said Tuesday evening.

Crews were called just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday for a house fire at 4925 Salem Drive in Vestal.

Vestal Fire Chief Pat McPherson said he believes the fire started in the home's kitchen and worked its way up the walls into the second floor and attic.

"The whole second floor is gone and {has} extensive damage, I'm going to go ahead and say it's probably a total loss," McPherson said.

McPherson said firefighters had to take a defensive approach when battling the flames. While firefighters were in the home, the ceiling on the second floor collapsed as they were making their way up the stairs.

"As we went interior to fight the fire, the second floor ceiling started to come in, so at that time we pulled our firefighters out of the building and took a defensive attack only on it," McPherson said.

No firefighters were hurt, but it forced them to fight the flames from outside.

There were three people at home at the time of the fire, all of whom escaped safely. McPherson said the Red Cross will assist the family.

Crews from Endicott, Endwell, West Corners and town of Binghamton assisted with the fire.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation late Tuesday.