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Elderly woman dies after fire at Ilion home

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - An elderly Ilion woman has died and her husband fights for his life after fire tore through their Otsego Street home around 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

An Ilion Police Officer had to be treated for smoke inhalation after trying to rescue the couple from their burning home before firefighters got on the scene. Firefighters were able to pull the couple out alive, just 12 minutes after they got the call and left the fire station.

However, Shirley Naugle succumbed to her injuries.

It was a valiant effort by police and firefighters in Ilion to save the Naugles, who were in their 80s, but the fire, which started on the first floor in the front of 389 Otsego Street, was too aggressive and powerful and the damage was likely done before police and firefighters got on the scene. They found out about the fire purely by chance, and would have found out later, if not for fortunate timing.

"Our water department was driving by, saw the smoke and flames, they radioed us, we responded," said Ilion Fire Chief James Trevett. "When we arrived there was heavy smoke and flames on the first floor."

Shirley Naugle was airlifted to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse after suffering burns in the fire and has since died. Firefighters found Richard Naughle on the second floor and said he suffered severe smoke inhalation and is in critical condition at upstate. He was taken there by ambulance from St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica.

Two family pets, cats, were killed in the fire, one of which was found just where one of the Naugle's children told firefighters it would be, at Richard Naugle's side.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Herkimer County's Cause and Origin Team has ruled out electrical.

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