Three people, including two children, are dead after fire destroyed a New Hartford home Saturday morning. Firefighters tried to reach the victims, but were forced out of the home by intense flames. Our Candace Hopkins tells us more about the victims and where the investigation now stands.
NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. -- It was just before 11 a.m. Saturday when New Hartford firefighters rushed to this home on Osborn Road. The initial call went out as a fire with people trapped and when they arrived they found a chaotic scene. Six people had made it out, but three were still inside.
"We did go into the house, we started searching for victims, they started knocking down fire, at that point they encountered very heavy fire conditions, and it got so bad it ended up breaking through the roof of the second floor, and we actually had to pull out of the structure," said New Hartford Fire Chief Thomas Bolanowski.
Part of the home then collapsed. The bodies of the three victims were found later, after crews were able to get back inside. The two children were identified as boys, ages 3 and 7, and the woman was 21-years-old.
"Just a horrible tragedy, very sad day for New Hartford and Central New York to have something this horrific happen right here and every measure that could have been taken was taken but sometimes you just can't change the outcome", said Lt. Timothy O'Neill of the New Hartford Police.
As the news spread neighbors gathered at the scene, including the adult victim's closest friend.
"She came here in third grade I think it was, and ever since then we've been best friends, we've done everything together," said Amanda Scheller.
Scheller says the victim and her sister lived in the home with their grandmother and four children, and that the two little boys were as close as could be.
"They were brothers, and they loved each other, let me tell you, they were two peas in a pod, they were smart boys, brothers fight of course they do, but they truly loved each other," said Scheller.
The cause of this fire remains under investigation, meanwhile officials here say they have a long road ahead as they try to piece together exactly what happened here.