LOWVILLE — State police have identified two people who died in a house fire on South State Street last weekend.
A fire at 7525 S. State St. erupted shortly before midnight Saturday. The Lowville Fire Department came on the scene to find a man standing on the roof, later discovering he had smashed an upstairs window of the four-apartment building in order to escape. Firefighters, while the structure was on fire, helped him escape by raising a ladder to the roof to help him climb down.
Two other people inside the house were reported as “unaccounted for” at the time. Their bodies were later found in an upstairs bedroom. In a release from state police issued Wednesday, the victims have been identified as Catherine A. Crego, 58, of 7525 S. State Street, Lowville, and Saratina R. Kilbourne, 42, of 7539 S. State Street, Lowville.
Both victims’ cause of death has been listed as asphyxia, as a consequence of smoke and heated products of combustion, according to an autopsy conducted at Albany Medical Center.
The man inside the house at the time of the fire, Brian S. Mushtare, 60, also of 7525 S. State Street, Lowville, was treated at Lewis County General Hospital for smoke inhalation, lacerations and minor burns. He has since been released.
The investigative team is asking that anyone who has information regarding the fire, or possibly has video of the fire, contact the Village of Lowville Police Department, Officer Matthew Martin at 315-376-6511.
Earlier this week, Lowville Police Chief Randy L. Roggie said while three of the apartments are currently rented, the total number of people in the building could not yet be released.
The American Red Cross issued a statement saying they had given financial assistance to a family of four adults and two children, ages 3 and 4, for shelter, food and clothing.