Investigators are working to determine what caused a fire on the roof of a four-story apartment building in downtown Binghamton.

City fire department duty chief Sam Santoni said the blaze at 139 Washington Street was reported at 9:39 a.m. Friday.

Fire equipment on Washington Street between Court and Hawley streets on July 1, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Fire equipment on Washington Street between Court and Hawley streets on July 1, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Santoni said although there had been a report of "a lot of smoke" in the area, it took firefighters some time to locate the small fire on the roof. He said once they were able to get through the door to the roof, the blaze was quickly extinguished.

Santoni said he believed there are 21 apartments in the building. He did not know how many people were inside when the fire broke out. He said the blaze dropped down to one of the apartments. While that unit likely was uninhabitable, Santoni said he expected residents would be able to return to the other apartments in the building.

Strange Brew Cafe at 137 Washington Street was closed following a fire in a neighboring building. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Strange Brew Cafe at 137 Washington Street was closed following a fire in a neighboring building. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The fire marshal's office is working with Binghamton police detectives to investigate the blaze. Authorities would not comment on the possible cause or whether the fire appeared to be suspicious in origin.

Operations at a normally-busy Washington Street coffeeshop were suspended after the blaze. On its Facebook page, Strange Brew Cafe posted: "Dearest customers, we will be temporarily closed for the remainder of today as per the Fire Marshall’s request due to an on-going fire investigation in the building next door to ours. We will be open regular hours tomorrow and on. We apologize for any inconvenience."

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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