Niagara Gazette

June 28, 2013

Elderly woman killed in Lewiston fire

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Fire investigators believe the cause of a fatal Saunders Settlement Road fire was electrical in nature, possibly being started by a malfunctioning air conditioner.

Florence Placek, 85, was found dead in the home, which started about 5:30 a.m. Friday.

State troopers responding to the residence said they saw smoke coming from an air conditioner located on the second floor of the home.

Troopers said fire and heavy smoke within the residence prevented them from gaining access to the second floor of the home.

Once fire personnel from Lewiston No. 2, Niagara Active, Sanborn and Upper Mountain fire companies responded to the scene, Placek was found in the doorway of the master bedroom on the second floor.

Niagara County fire investigators determined the cause of the fire, which started in the master bedroom, to be electrical in nature.

State Police added that the fire appears to be accidental and no foul play is suspected.

State Police and Niagara County Fire Investigator’s were assisted by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office at the scene. 

Niagara County Coroner Michael Ross responded to the scene and Placek was taken to the Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine cause of death.