An elderly woman is dead and her husband is in critical condition in SUNY Upstate Medical Hospital in Syracuse following a fire that damaged a house on Otsego Street Wednesday morning.
Firefighters had rescued the couple, whose names had not been released, from their burning home Wednesday morning.
Ilion Fire Chief James Trevett said the fire in the single-family home at 389 Otsego St., Ilion, was on the first floor and was confined to one room, but there was heavy smoke and intense heat throughout the house.
He said a village water department employee coming from the reservoir spotted the fire as he was driving past and called the fire department on his radio.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find a fire on the first floor and smoke throughout the house.
“We had the fire out in 15 or 20 minutes,” said Trevett. He said one of the residents was found in an upstairs hallway and may have been trying to escape. The other was found in the dining room. Both were unconscious.
The chief said neighbors told firefighters there were people inside the house and while some firefighters attacked the fire, others conducted a search and found the two.
One victim was taken by helicopter to SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse. The helicopter landed on the Ilion High School athletic field to pick up its passenger. The other was taken by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Medical Center, but was later transferred to SUNY Upstate in Syracuse.
Trevett said the cause of the fire remains undetermined. He was hoping to talk with one of the residents as part of the investigation.
Firefighting crews remained on the scene until late morning on Wednesday. While most of the fire damage was confined to the living room, there was smoke and heat damage throughout the building.
Ilion firefighters called the Herkimer Fire Department for assistance and had MOVAC and Rural Metro ambulances on the scene.
Gatehouse News Service contributed to this report.