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Fire Crews Battle Fatal Flames in New Hartford

The fatal fire is affecting the entire New Hartford community, not just those who knew the family. Friends and family are in mourning but the loss also takes a toll on the fire crews who were on the scene.
The fatal fire is affecting the entire New Hartford community, not just those who knew the family. Friends and family are in mourning but the loss also takes a toll on the fire crews who were on the scene. Eyewitness News spoke with firefighters of the New Hartford Fire Department over the weekend.
The New Hartford Fire Chief says this is the worst situation for a fire crew to encounter. The victims were trapped in a house that was already engulfed in flames by the time the fire department arrived. By the time the three victims were located, the chief says it was too late.
"They encountered very heavy fire conditions and it got so bad it ended up breaking through the roof of the second floor, we had so much fire that the water flow couldn't overcome the heat and flames," said Chief Thomas Bolanowski of the New Hartford Fire Department.
Chief Bolanowski and his crew received the first call reporting the fire at 10:54 AM on Saturday. When they arrived at the 11 Osborn Avenue location, the firefighters were able to quickly locate the two children and remove them but unfortunately, they were already dead.
Chief Bolanowski says despite daily training, crews can never fully prepare for this type of situation.
"It’s the worst scenario we can encounter, this is what we train for every day, and it’s a very sad event,” says the Chief.
The entire left side of the house collapsed. Crews later found the third victim deceased in the home. The New Hartford Fire Department was assisted by five other area fire teams.
The fire was determined accidental and was caused by an electrical appliance. The three victims were taken to the Onondaga County Medical Examiner's office. The autopsies deemed the causes of death smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide toxicity.

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