By Fox 40 Staff.

A tragedy that could have cost the lives of a number of Endicott firefighters was narrowly averted early Friday morning.

Just after two a.m. crews responded to a fire at 117 Jefferson Avenue. Endicott Fire Chief Joseph Griswold said when firefighters entered they found a trip wire and discovered the building was booby trapped from the basement to the attic.

The Endicott Bomb Squad was called out and neighboring residents were evacuated from their homes. A small fire in the stairway of the empty building was put out in 10-15 minutes. But had the trap gone off as it could have, firefighters and neighbors could have been killed. Griswold describes what his firefighters encountered.

"They immediately encountered a trip wire which emptied a container of gasoline. As soon as they realized what happened they vacated the building. We then tried to get into the building from the southside toward the front, they opened that door. There was also a trip wire and a 20-pound propane cylinder," said Griswold.

Griswold says the investigation is now in the hands of the police.