LOWVILLE — A man and his dog were found dead in a Friday afternoon fire at 5413 Hemlock Drive in the Willow Landing apartment complex in the village.

The Lowville Police Department identified the victim of the fatal structure fire as Thomas C. Young, 58, in a news release issued just before midnight Friday.

Lowville Assistant Fire Chief Gerry Nortz said the call originated when Lewis County Search and Rescue and a local patrol responded to a Lifenet alert just before 3:30 p.m.

When the first responders found heavy smoke coming out of the lower apartment, the call was bumped to the fire department, Chief Nortz said.

Specialized interior firefighters were able to contain the limited blaze by 4 p.m., the chief said, but the biggest challenge was the intensity of thick smoke in the medium-sized apartment.

“All of the windows were closed and often with situations like that, the fire eats all of the oxygen and burns itself out,” Chief Nortz said.

Three neighboring apartments were evacuated due to the intensity of the smoke, but no other injuries were reported. The evacuated residents were allowed to return home once the smoke was cleared from their apartments.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Lowville Fire Department was assisted by crews from Martinsburg, Castorland and New Bremen as well as the Village of Lowville Police, Lewis County sheriff’s deputies, Lewis County Search and Rescue, Emergency Management and the county Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

More details will be provided after the investigation is complete.

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