LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Two people were killed and another person was injured in a fire overnight in Lowville.
The fire at 7525 South State Street was reported just before midnight. It was put out by 8 AM Sunday morning, but a small crew of firefighters remained on scene, watching for signs the fire has ignited again.
As fire fighters arrived, they discovered one resident, a man, standing on the front porch roof, who was then rescued with a ladder. He was taken to Lewis County General Hospital for smoke inhalation and minor burns.
The two people who died were found upstairs in the apartment house, according to Trooper Jack Keller, spokesman for State Police Troop D.
Keller said the names of the people who died would likely not be released until at least Monday, when autopsies are performed.
The building contained four apartments, with a total of “about” six people living in them, fire officials said.
7 News reporter Abbey Buttacavaoli, on scene, said she saw a state trooper preparing to fly a drone over the fire scene. Police crime tape blocked off the area around the house, and part of South State Street was closed to traffic.
State fire investigators were seen walking around the perimeter of the house.
Lowville police said firefighters from Lowville, Castorland, and New Bremen fire departments fought the blaze. Freezing temperatures made fighting the fire difficult, according to a statement from Lewis County Dispatch.
Lewis County Search and Rescue, the state Office of Fire Prevention, the Lewis County Cause and Origin team, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and state police were all on scene overnight.
And there is a reason for it:
“Anytime anybody died in a fire or an unknown person died we label it suspicious,” said Keller.
And until police can figure out whether or not there was criminal involvement, it will be treated as suspicious.
“I’m sure a small village like this, people are wondering what exactly occurred. So if anyone has any information, certainly we would like to speak with them. Contact the Lowville Police Department or call 911," said Keller.
The home has been confirmed a total loss.
While the investigation into the cause of the fire was underway, South State Street in Lowville was closed between Stowe Street and the Main Four Corners.
Crews were busy clearing about three inches of ice from the street in front of the house. The street reopened shortly before 11 p.m.
In 2016, the house at 7523 South State Street - next door to Saturday night’s fire - burned in a methamphetamine-related fire.
(Night time photos courtesy of Tom Spaulding)