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Husband dies in Batavia fire, wife rescued

Batavia, N.Y. -- George McConnell was killed in a fire in his home overnight.

McConnell was trapped in the upper part of the home where flames and thick smoke prevented firefighters from being able to get to him.

I attempted to make two entries into the house, said Officer Darryle Streeter of the Batavia Police Department. I got as far as the kitchen living room area but the smoke was too intense the flames were starting to lick the ceiling.

His wife, Candee McConnell was able to escape the Davis Avenue home in Batavia when a fire broke out just before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Firefighters said they rescued five cats and said there were around 20 cats in the house.

SPCA volunteers and neighbors were at the house later Tuesday morning setting traps to try and catch other cats that survived.

According to fire fighters, eight died in the fire.

The condition of the house made it a difficult fire to fight.

Batavia fire Chief Jim Maxwell tells us debris in the house was waste high.

Because of the hoarding issues inside the structure there were mounds of materials, which impacted our ability to fight the fire as well as adding to the fuel load, said Chief Maxwell.

Firefighters have not determined what caused the fire; the investigation is ongoing.

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Washington Times