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Officials release preliminary cause of Columbia Street fire

By ANGELICA A. MORRISON

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Fire officials released a preliminary cause, Friday night, for a deadly fire that happened more than a week ago on Columbia Street.

Utica Fire Marshal Gerald Foster said in a press release that the fire appears to have started inside or near a room occupied by Jeffery Howarth- who later died after being severely burned.

The fire spread through the walls and then to other areas of the multi-family structure.

There were six others lived in the building located on 914 Columbia Street in West Utica.

Officials have pointed out several codes violations in the home.

Those violations include inadequate number of smoke alarms, lack of fire extinguishers, improperly maintained smoke alarms and failure to accurately register the building as a multi-dwelling structure.

The owner Michael Morrissey is set to appear in Utica City Court on Monday.






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