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Fatal Cheektowaga House Fire, 3 Killed

7:25 AM, Dec 24, 2009   |    comments
Hyland Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY
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CHEEKTOWAGA, NY - Three people were killed in an overnight house fire on Hyland Road in Cheektowaga, near the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport.

Officials on the scene tell us that an adult male and two females in their 20s are among the victims.

According to neighbors on Hyland Road, the victims are a father and his two daughters.  They say the father was a retired engineer who spent a lot of time inventing things, including a self-closing mail box at his home.  His two daughters, according to neighbors, were in college. 

Neighbors also tell 2 On Your Side the man was from India, but had lived in the Cheektowaga home for about 20 years with his wife and children.  They say the man has two other children living out of state.  Officials say the whereabouts of his wife is unknown at this time.

Erie County Central Police Services received a frantic 911 call of a woman screaming on a cell phone at 2:56 a.m., and officials say police were dispatched thinking it was a domestic dispute.  However, because the call came from a cell phone, police had trouble locating the house.

Officials confirm that several minutes were wasted during the confusion and that fire officials weren't called to the scene until police realized they were dealing with a fire instead of a domestic issue.   

Officials also tell Channel 2 News they believe the fire may have started in the front of the home, either in the bedroom or kitchen, but they have not determined the cause.

A fire detector was found in the home, investigators do not know if it was working at the time of the fire.

Cheektowaga Police are investigating the fatal fire and have not yet released the names of the victims. 

WGRZ / wgrz.com

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