Fire investigators believe burning grease started a house fire that left one person dead in Gouverneur Tuesday night.
Gouverneur police say the fire at 66 Austin Street claimed the life of 22 year old Brian Mandigo, who lived there.
(Read the obituary for Brian Mandigo here.)
Investigators say they believe Mandigo was deep-frying food on an electric stove when he left it unattended. It overheated and started a grease fire that spread quickly.
Police and firefighters were called there just after 11 p.m.
Firefighters found Mandigo even though their efforts to find anyone inside were hampered by heavy smoke and fire.
They located his body on the living room floor, about 10 to 15 feet from the front door.
He was found near a couch, where officials say he might have been dozing.
Officials say the building was fully involved when firefighters arrived.
"The first floor and the second floor windows -- flames were coming out approximately 10 to 15 feet," said Gouverneur Fire Chief Steve Young.
Young credited firefighters with saving the homes on each side of the burning building, both of which had vinyl siding damage because of the heat.
Mandigo was taken to E.J. Noble Hospital in Gouverneur, where he was pronounced dead.
Police say an autopsy is pending.
Saturday, March 8, 2014, Watertown, NY
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