Gowanda Man Sustains Serious Burns In Fire

GOWANDA — A Gowanda man was severely burned in an accidental fire in the village early this morning.

Gowanda police and firefighters were dispatched to a fully involved structure fire at 23 W. Main St. with entrapment at 1:10 a.m.

When officer Sean Hotnich arrived, he observed heavy smoke coming from the second floor of the apartment building. The officer made entry with another firefighter who showed up at the same time before other fire personnel and apparatus arrived. They entered the building and made their way to the second floor and encountered heavy, thick smoke and alerted and assisted tenants of the apartment building to get to safety.

The officer and the firefighter located the fire and learned that the tenant of the apartment was still inside. Officer Hotnich and Firefighter Casey Jones made entry into the apartment, where they reportedly encountered thick smoke, heat and fire.

After gaining entry they located the victim laying face-down on the floor severally burned and unconscious.

The two of them rescued the 56-year-old male from the fire and carried him out of the building. The rescuers closed the door behind them and contained the fire to the apartment of origin. The victim was transported by Gowanda Ambulance Service to Lakeshore Hospital.

The male victim was later transported by helicopter to  the Burn Unit at ECMC hospital in Buffalo with second-degree burns covering about 80 percent of his body.

The apartment sustained extensive fire damage; djoining apartments sustained smoke damage.

The Gowanda police and fire departments were assisted at the scene by Collins, Perrysburg, Dayton fire companies and the Erie and Cattaraugus County sheriff’s offices, New York State Police. Gowanda And Reservation Ambulance.

The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team was called in to determine the cause and origin of the fire.