An Ilion man remained in critical condition in SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse Thursday following a fire that killed his wife.
Both Richard Naugle, 84, and his wife, Shirley Mae Naugle, 80, were rescued, unconscious, from their burning home Wednesday morning by Ilion firefighters. Shirley Naugle was airlifted to SUNY Upstate in Syracuse. Richard Naugle was initially transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica and was later transferred to the hospital in Syracuse.
Ilion Fire Chief James Trevett said Thursday that the cause of the fire had not yet been determined. “We’re still hoping to talk to him,” said Trevett. “We have a pretty good idea.”
The Herkimer County Cause and Origin Team is conducting the investigation.
The fire at 389 Otsego St. was reported a little after 8 a.m. by village Water Department employees who were driving by at the time.
Trevett, who was the first to arrive at the scene, found heavy smoke throughout the building and fire coming from the first floor. He heard from neighbors that there still were people inside the building. Some of the firefighters attacked the fire and others conducted a search for the couple. They found one in the downstairs dining room and the other in an upstairs hallway, according to Trevett.
The fire was brought under control within 15 minutes, but crews remained on the scene into the late morning on Wednesday. Most of the fire damage from the blaze was limited to the living room, but smoke and heat damage was sustained throughout the building. The Herkimer Fire Department, MOVAC Ambulance and Rural Metro Ambulance also assisted at the scene.
Trevett said that because there was a death involved, Herkimer County Acting District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter was briefed on the investigation.
Funeral arrangements for Shirley Naugle are by Applegate Day & Enea Family Funeral Home, Ilion, town of Frankfort and are incomplete.