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One person dies in Rochester high-rise fire

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One person died in a fire at a Rochester high-rise building late Monday night. Fire officials say it was called in just after 11:30 p.m. at Winton Gardens Towers, previously called the Cedarwood Towers at 2052 E. Main Street.

Officials say that while tenants reported hearing a smoke detector, the building’s alarm system had not yet activated. While firefighters were responding, they got additional calls about an odor of smoke on the upper floors of the building.

Fire officials say that each apartment in the building has smoke alarms in it, but the alarm will only activate and alert the occupant when it detects smoke.

The hallways and common areas in the building also have smoke alarms. The fire department says when those alarms detect smoke, the system will active and alert the entire building.

But on Monday night, the smoke from the fire never reached the hallway or a common area, until the apartment door was opened by the fire department.

When firefighters got there, they discovered a bedroom fire, but with the type of building and the number of apartments, it was handled as a second alarm fire, with 13 fire units responding.

Officials say firefighters were able to quickly knock down the fire, and found a woman in her bedroom, but she died from her injuries. Her name has not been released yet.

Other tenants were able to remain in their apartments. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.