Private investigator gets some answers for family of fallen Watertown firefighter

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 3:23 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Friday marks the 6 month anniversary of when fallen Watertown firefighter Peyton Morse was involved in a training incident at the state fire academy in Montour Falls.

His parents have a few answers - not from the state, but from their own private investigator.

The Morses and Watertown Fire Chief Matt Timerman continue to be frustrated with going 6 months with no answers from 2 investigations - one by state police, and another by PESH, a federal agency within the state Labor Department which investigates on-the-job injuries and deaths of public sector workers.

Meanwhile, through a private investigator who spoke with witnesses, the Morses learned that the low-oxygen alarm on Peyton’s air pack was going off while he was inside a small training box and he said he couldn’t breath through his face mask.

“They were warned the oxygen was low and my son asked for help and we know that now. Every night I think about my son in a box knowing that there is someone inches from him who refused to help even when he asked and then I stand at his grave and he’s in a box and I can’t help him,” said Stacy Snyder-Morse, Peyton’s mother.

The Morses worry the state will cover up what they find and are now calling on Governor Kathy Hochul, who has pledged state transparency, to directly help them get answers.

“I think this would be the perfect opportunity for her to prove that she wants to be transparent. The people that were there at the academy need to be held accountable, in my opinion, criminally,” said Dave Morse, Peyton’s father.

The governor’s office did give us a comment about this story: “Governor Hochul is deeply committed to transparency. The investigative processes need to proceed to provide all the facts to the public.

There was no response when we asked why 6 months have passed with no answers for the family.

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