MAYVILLE (TNS) — Authorities in Chautauqua County said an electrical issue is believed to have set off a fire at a Sherman, New York, house that claimed the life of a baby early Wednesday.
The fire was the second fatal blaze in the county in as many days, following a fire at an apartment house in the Village of Fredonia on Tuesday morning where a 70-year-old woman was found dead, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.
Wednesday morning’s fire was reported at 1:21 a.m. on Main Street in Sherman. According to information released by the Sheriff’s Office, the Sherman Fire Department and several assisting departments were sent to the house on a report of a working structure fire.
Investigators said a woman and her five children were inside of the house at the time.
The woman was able to escape from the first floor of the house with her twin 4-year-old sons, according to investigators. Three other children were on the second floor, but the stairway was not accessible because of the fire, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
Two of the children upstairs, a 12-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy, jumped from a second-floor window to escape, investigators said.
The 1-year-old boy, identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Watson Taylor, did not escape the residence and died in the fire, investigators reported.
The 12-year-old girl and the 8-year-old boy who escaped from the second floor were taken to UPMC Hamot for treatment of burns, the Sheriff’s Office reported. Information on their conditions was not immediately available Wednesday afternoon.
Investigators reported early Wednesday afternoon said that an electrical issue where the electric feed entered the residence appears to have been the cause of the fire.
The investigation continues, authorities said.
Tuesday’s fire was reported at 5:58 a.m. on Center Street in Fredonia. Investigators said the fire is believed to have occurred on the first floor of the older, two-story house that contains two upstairs apartments.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the occupants of the upstairs apartments escaped the fire without injury. One of the two occupants of the downstairs apartment was able to break a bedroom window and jump out. That person, a female who was not identified, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk for treatment and was later released, investigators reported.
The other occupant, identified by authorities as 70-year-old Patricia O. Ulkins, was unable to escape the fire and died. She was located in the fire debris, according to investigators.
Authorities said the fire is not suspicious in nature and was ruled as undetermined, as it was unknown how the fire started because of the amount of damage.
The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team is investigating the fire with assistance from the Fredonia Police Department, Fredonia Fire and S St. George Enterprises, a construction company.