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Man dies, woman rescued from Coxsackie fire

Coxsackiefire1.jpg

Flames engulfed the top floor of a three-story building on Washington Avenue, and the entire view of James McKenney's front window, who lives right across the street. Once he saw the flames, he bolted to try and get everyone out.

"There was so much, smoke, you just couldn't comprehend what was happening," McKenney said.

The town coroner says Victoria Connolly and her 74 year-old husband Larry Connolly were the only ones in the building. McKenney says he got Victoria to safety. She was on the first floor.

"She was just all frantic wondering where he was," McKenney said.

He says Larry, who is disabled, was on the third floor. Village mayor Mark Evans says the fire department got there within minutes of hearing about the fire.

"We were all in our firehouse. So we had an incredibly fast response. We were out the door in about 60 seconds and we were on the scene in about three to four minutes," Evans said.

Fire crews mounted a rescue effort, but it was too late. Larry, a lifetime firefighter with DM Hamilton in Coxsackie, died in the fire.

Firefighters haven't revealed a cause, but they say they encountered some obstacles in putting it out.

"Just a difficult fire to get to and find. It was above our head most of the time," Evans said.

"A house of that size, three floors when flames start coming through the roof you know you've got a bad, bad situation," McKenney said.

The coroner conducted an autopsy on Sunday. The results haven’t been released yet. Mayor Evans said in a post on the town’s facebook page that he wanted to thank all the condolences from the surrounding fire departments that assisted in fighting the fire.


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