Press-Republican

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January 30, 2014

Initial probe shows fatal fire not suspicious

MALONE — Early findings indicate Tuesday’s fatal house fire was not suspicious in origin, according to Malone Village Police Chief Chris Premo.

Wednesday, fire investigators were still looking through the rubble at 20 South St., where Pamela Taylor, 45, perished in a second-floor room.

She died of asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, Premo said that an autopsy performed Wednesday night revealed.

“At this point, it appears accidental,” he said.

Taylor’s son, Jared M. Smith, 19, was burned in the fire, officials said on Tuesday, and he remained at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington in serious condition on Wednesday.

“We haven’t been able to interview the boy,” the police chief said.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Vernon J. Rivers, 39, was taken by ambulance to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone with smoke inhalation.

He was treated there and had been released, Premo said.

Two Malone Village Police officers who spotted the fire early Tuesday as they gassed up their cruiser arrived in time to help the two men out of the home, which was deemed a total loss.

Smith, who has a twin brother, is a student at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake, Premo said.

“He happened to be home that night,” he said.

Email Suzanne Moore: smoore@pressrepublican.com

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