UPDATE: Officials Believe Cigarette in Futon Started Fatal Rochester Fire

December 28, 2016 12:27 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Rochester fire officials say they believe a cigarette in a futon started the fire that killed a mother and young child in Rochester Thursday evening. 



Rochester police have released the names of the woman and toddler killed in a Thursday evening apartment fire. 

Police say 35-year-old Melissa Phiefer and her two-year-old daughter Emily Phiefer both died in the fire. 

Multiple 911 calls started coming in around 5:45 p.m. Firefighters arrived to the four-plex at 409 27th Avenue NE to find smoke pouring from the building.

The deputy chief says several people were trapped at a window and were in danger of the flames. Crews were able to rescue them safely from the building.

Firefighters learned there were people still trapped inside a unit and attempted a rescue. They were able to get both out of the apartment complex. They attempted resuscitation efforts. One person died at the scene. The other was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The deputy chief also says one person was treated at the scene and declined to be taken to the hospital.

According to the fire department, it was apparent that the fire had been burning undetected for an extended period of time before it was discovered.  This type of smoldering fire generates highly toxic gases including carbon monoxide and cyanide which can quickly and silently incapacitate a person.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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