Family Strong After Fire

By Brennan Smith

March 29, 2012 Updated Mar 29, 2012 at 11:31 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A family of six children and several Binghamton University students are without homes, but they're thankful to be alive after their duplex caught fire this afternoon.

"I opened the front door and looked across and all you could see through the church, all there was was smoke. It looked like a fog over the city," said Dee Ortiz from Binghamton.

That fog was smoke pouring out of a duplex at 14 Livingston St. around 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

By the time neighbors gathered to see what was going on, the Binghamton University students and a mother with six children who live there managed to make it out of their burning home.

"My daughter-in-law told me she had to run as fast as she could out of this house. No alarms came on, so I don't know what was going on in there, but by the grace of God, all of my grandkids are safe," said Ortiz.

Fire crews were able to rescue the Martinez's family's dog.

They found him in a cage in a room in the back of the home, breathing heavily and his heart racing.

"It was so hot in the fire that he was lucky that where he was placed in the home, because it was a rapid exit out the door for the dog, and then he ran him to the truck and we started resuscitative measures on him," said Kevin Rice from the Binghamton Fire Department.

Firefighters gave the dog oxygen and an IV.

He suffered burns and is now in the care of a veterinarian.

Anna Martinez and her six children are in the care of their grandmother.

"All I can. That's what I'm here for, so I'll be doing as much as I can for them," said Ortiz.

It took firefighters just fifteen minutes to knock down the blaze but crews remained on the scene for a several hours to make sure it was under control.

They say it started in the Martinez's kitchen and made its way through the second and third floors, into the attic.

Although the Martinez's home is extensively damaged, their family is strong.

"She has five boys and one girl, running from 16 down to 3 years old. They all go to school and participate in sports and all kinds of stuff, so they're a great family, and I love them very much," said Ortiz.

The investigation into the case is ongoing, although the Binghamton Fire Department says it was likely accidental.

The Red Cross is also assisting the Martinez family.

The students who lived there are staying with friends.

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