Deadly Fire in Upstate New York Ruled Accidental

June 10, 2011

A fire that killed a 32-year-old Utica, New York woman and her three young sons last month started in a fish tank and has been ruled accidental.

Fire investigators excavated all debris within the duplex home, reconstructed the fire scene to figure out where the fire started. An examination of electrical components determined the fire was caused by a reptile heating lamp attached to an aquarium in the first floor dining room.

The victims all died from smoke inhalation and Oneida County Coroner Stephen Wolanin said they likely died before flames consumed the second floor of the duplex.

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