NORTH TONAWANDA, NY-Four smoke detectors were found in the home where two North Tonawanda women died earlier this month, but officials said none of them had batteries in them.
That was just one of several factors cited Monday in the deaths of the victims, one, 83, who was found in a front bedroom; and the other, 62, found near a back door.
The fatal blaze broke out shortly before 11 P.M. on April 8th on Third Avenue in North Tonawanda.
The report filed shows the fire started in the living room and while the cause remains officially "undetermined", officials say several factors contributed to the tragic outcome. Among them, there was clutter throughout the home which may have hampered any escape. Also, at least one of the victims was a smoker and a heavy amount of "smoking material" was found throughout the house, and careless smoking cannot be ruled out as a cause. There were also numerous extension cords being used and an electrical short or malfunction also cannot be discounted.
The city's Fire Investigation Team also determined the fire started at least eleven minutes before the first 9-1-1 call was received.