SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse Police are reaching out to the public for help as they continue to investigate a deadly fire under the Route 81 and 690 interchange. Crews responded to the fire underneath the 690 eastbound on ramp on Catherine Street around 11:45 p.m. on Friday.
The fire was in a small opening between a concrete wall and the bridge. Once firefighters extinguished the flames, they found a badly burned victim in the debris. An autopsy revealed that the victim, an unidentified male, died from smoke inhalation and burns. According to police, that area is where many homeless people sleep during the night.
"It was obvious that there were people that had been living under there. Mattresses, boxes, some clothing, things like that," said Sgt. Tom Connellan, Syracuse Police. "So yes, we believe that was probably an encampment for some homeless people up there, and we are interviewing people up there who have told us there were people sleeping in that area."
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but foul play is not suspected. Syracuse Police are asking anyone with information to call them at (315) 442-5222.