Cornell University student killed in Ithaca Collegetown fire

The damaged home on Cook Street in Ithaca / photo: Brandon Roth

A Cornell University student was killed in an overnight fire in Collegetown right near the campus in Ithaca. The other person feared missing is now accounted for.

Ithaca Police have identified the victim as 21-year-old Brian Lo, a senior in the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Police say an autopsy is scheduled for Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton on Saturday.

The fire broke out at a three-story building at 107 Cook Street at a home that contains eight apartments. Officials said six or seven of the 13 students who live there were home at the time.

Investigators tell CNY Central they believe the fire was caused by unattended food left on the stove.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found thick smoke and flames. They found Lo's body on the first floor, in the hallway near the kitchen.

Firefighters searched the other floors in the home, looking for other people inside. Everyone else made it out safely.

The fire become so intense, crews were eventually pulled out of the home to fight it from the outside. It took them about three hours to bring it under control.

We're told the building did pass inspections three months ago, but there are conflicting reports about whether the smoke detectors were working at the time.

Right now, Cornell University is helping the students who were left homeless by the fire. The school has brought in counselors for those who need them.

Police say their investigation into the fire is still ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Ithaca Police Department at 272-3245 or 272-9973.

Late Friday morning update:

One person is dead and another missing after fire swept through an apartment building in Ithaca's Collegetown section overnight.

Ithaca firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire conditions when they arrived at the apartment building at 107 Cook Street just after midnight.

The Collegetown neighborhood is adjacent to the Cornell University campus.

The building is described as an older three story home that was converted to use as apartments.

The Ithaca Fire Department has scheduled a news conference for 10:00 a.m. We have a news crew heading to the scene. Stay with CNY for updates.

Original story from early Friday morning :

Firefighters in the City of Ithaca are still on the scene of a serious apartment fire in the city's "Collegetown section".

Firefighters were called to 107 Cook Street just a few minutes after midnight.

A firefighter answering calls at the fire department did not know if there were any injuries. However, Ithaca radio station WHCU quotes Deputy Chief Tom Parson at the scene as saying the department is looking for missing people.

The building was described as a large, older home that had been converted to apartments.

A news conference is scheduled for later this morning. Our Brandon Roth is on the way to the scene. Stay with CNY for updates.