UPDATE (11/18/19) According to a statement from the Hornell City School District, 17 students were impacted by the Sunday night blaze that destroyed several homes. 

School officials say the 17 students ranged from being in pre-school to tenth grade. Counselors are in each school building to "work with affected families to determine their needs and communicate that information to the City of Hornell and local agencies", said Superintendent Jeremy Palotti. 

"The Hornell City School District and City of Hornell are grateful for the outpouring of support received yesterday from the community in response to a fire that destroyed four homes and severely damaged several more," said Palotti. 

The City of Hornell will reportedly take over response efforts and relocate operations to the Art Center at 56 Broadway Mall. Local community groups, such as the Campbell Savona community support group are providing warm clothes for the fire victims. 

Several businesses are accepting donations. Some of the locations are the Maple City Savings Bank on Main Street and the New Hope Wesleyan Church on Grand Street. 

Crews are still working to determine the exact cause of the fire as they search through the rubble.

City officials will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. to provide more details. WENY News will live stream that press conference on our website weny.com and our Facebook page. 

Additionally, a GoFundMe has been set up to help the victims of the fire. 

Hornell, NY (WENY) - The Hornell Fire Department is looking into the cause of a structure fire that destroyed nearly a half-dozen homes and almost half of a city block Sunday afternoon, right in the heart of Hornell.

The fire department responded to a call of a structure fire around the area of Preston avenue and Seneca street around 2:30pm. Police also responded, as the call went out about three times. Responding officers managed to knock on a number of doors and managed to get everyone out in time before the buildings were destroyed. In total six building, four on Preston avenue and 2 adjacent on Washington street were involved. The four homes on Preston avenue, are expected to be ruled total loses, with the other two on Washington street sustaining, smoke and water damage.

The Hornell fire chief said that thanks to the work of the police department they believe all the occupants were able to make it our safe.

“Luckily law enforcement got on scene just a head of us. They started knocking on doors, evacuating those homes. To the best of our knowledge everybody in all the structures were out, family members and everything. There was no one injured or anybody hurt. We're still unsure about some of the animals.” said Chief Frank Brzozowski.

Crews could be seen still working on the fire, well into the evening. Chief Brzozowski said him and his crew and other departments battled a number of challenges including heavy wind, the arm's length distance between each building and Canacadea creek at their back.

The Hornell Fire Department has not determined a cause of the fire. Chief Brzozowski said that it'll take a few days, as crews must sift through a large amount of rubble.

A press conference is set to be held at 3 this afternoon at the Police and Fire Department Public Safety Building at 110 Broadway. 

Hornell high school has been opened for anyone effected or seeking refuge. Anyone in need of help is asked to call the Red-Cross at (607) 936-3766.