FREDONIA – A house fire on Tuesday morning on Center Street in Fredonia claimed the life of one person while five other people who lived there were displaced.
Fredonia Fire Department crews were called to 111 Center Street just before 6 a.m. Wind chills were well below zero.
Oil tankers had to be called due to temperatures of around 8 degrees when the fire broke out. Fredonia received help from East Town and West Town of Dunkirk, Town of Dunkirk, Brocton and Sheridan.
“We struggled with the lack of water supply due to the freezing of standpipes”, said Fire Chief Kurt Maytum.
The house was an old two-storey structure containing two apartments upstairs. All the occupants of the floor escaped the fire without being injured.
The lower apartment had two occupants. An occupant managed to smash a lower bedroom window and jumped to safety. This occupant sustained minor injuries and was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment. She was then released.
The other lower occupant could not escape and was identified as Patricia Ulkins, 70. The blaze was investigated by members of the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team with assistance from the Fredonia Police Department, S St George Enterprises and the Department of fire of Fredonia.
The body was turned over to the Chautauqua County Coroner. The origin of the fire is said to have occurred on the ground floor near the center of the house.
The fire is not of a suspicious nature, but was deemed undetermined due to the extent of the damage. An investigation is continuing.
In the afternoon, the structure was being demolished.