Probe Into Fatal Jamestown House Fire Continues Monday

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JAMESTOWN – Fire investigators continue to probe what caused a Friday fire in Jamestown that claimed the life of a 19-year-old man.

Jamestown Fire Chief Matthew Coon, in an update to WNY News Now on Monday morning, said the fire at 109 Kidder Street likely started on the first floor, however investigators are still looking into the flame’s source.

He says at this point the blaze is not suspicious, however because a fatality was involved, investigators are taking extra “due diligence” and a cause should be determined in a few days.

Two people, 19-year-old Jacob Rishel Harrison and a three-year-old child, were rescued by firefighters from the first floor of the apartment house.

Harrison later died from injuries sustained at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown, while the toddler was taken to Oshei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. In the latest update from police, he is listed in stable condition.

Coon says a firefighter was also hurt while attempting to rescue the two. He suffered first and second-degree burns while trudging through heavy smoke and flames, which spread quickly.

“With an older type home, that’s a balloon constructed, the stud channels are open all the way to the roof, once the fire breaches into those stud channels, from a low point inside the residence the fire will tend to travel up towards the roofline,” explained Coon. “If you look closely, you can see a stud channel that goes straight-up in the front, where the fire did extend up.”

Since his treatment at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital, Coon says the firefighter is doing well and recovering at home. The first responder would need to be cleared by his doctor before returning to service.

The Red Cross is assisting the other tenants displaced as the property has since been condemned.


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