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Cause of Wynantskill fire under investigation

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Albany/HV: Cause of Wynantskill fire under investigation
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A once popular Wynantskill restaurant was destroyed in a late night fire. The elderly woman who was inside escaped. Our Megan Cruz has the story.

WYNANTSKILL, N.Y. -- Ed Foley said, "I was asleep and the thunder woke me up and then a few minutes later, she was knocking on the door."

Barefoot and barely dressed, a frantic Mary Foley ran next door to her nephew's around 11 p.m. Tuesday. She said the first floor of her home at 55 West Sand Lake Road was filled with smoke.

Foley said, "She got out in the dark, no power. She didn't have her glasses on. She actually tried to come downstairs but couldn't get through."

So instead, the 88-year-old came back up to the second floor and broke down a sealed door to escape via a set of stairs.

"Took her to Albany Med because they were afraid she might have some burns in her esophagus but she's doing okay," Foley said.

The house, however, is not. The fire burned for close to six hours. Crews had to return a second time Wednesday morning when it rekindled.

"The floor was stable. The roof, not so much. So it's not going to be salvageable at this point," said John O’Bomsawin of the Wynantskill Fire Department.

If you recognize the building, it's because this used to be Foley's Inn. The family-owned restaurant and bar opened in the 40s and was very popular till it closed in the 80s.

Foley said, "It's the end of an era. Almost all of my family had something to do with the bar as they grew up, so it's sad to see the building go."

The attention now turns to determining what caused the fire. While it is early on in the investigation, officials say right now, they believe lightning may be to blame.

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