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Elderly woman & daughter die in North Tonawanda fire

WBFO News photo by Jim Ranney

Investigators are searching for the cause of a fatal North Tonwanada house fire which claimed the lives of two people Monday night. Firefighters responded to the scene on Third Avenue off Oliver Street around 10 p.m.  

Fire crews were reportedly able to fight their way into the structure and CPR was administered to the two victims.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene. The other was pronounced dead after being transported at DeGraff Memorial Hospital.

Police say victims are identified as 83-year-old Dorothy Burns and her daughter Kathy Watson.

The fire started at a home on Third Avenue. The cause

Neil Daniel lives across the street from the fire scene on Third Avenue. 

"Last night I smelled smoke.  It was pretty strong," said Daniel.  "The street was filled with firefighting equipment and firefighters." 

Daniel tells WBFO News he watched the fire scene as firefighters tried to rescue those living in the home.

"One person that they took out.  I heard from people gathered that two people had died and one person had been taken away critically injured," said Daniel.

The names of the victims are being withheld.

Daniel said he wasn't familiar with the family and believed only an elderly woman was living in the home at the time.  Daniel said he was completely surprised by the fatal blaze. 

"Just the old lady who would leave the house every so often to do her shopping.  Very quiet. No people in and out. Nothing," said Daniel. "