A woman who came home to her River Street apartment about 10:30 p.m., Friday, was unable to rescue her dog and firefighters believe the dog had already passed by the time they found it in a back bedroom.
"She said she tried to get the dog out but the smoke was too thick," said neighbor Ed DeJaneiro. "She crawled but couldn’t reach him."
Lt. Marty Hinz, city fire, said when firefighters arrived a partition in the apartment's living room was engulfed in flames. The first order of business was suppressing the fire. Then they located the dog.
When the dog, "Scooter," was brought outside, the resident and neighbors tried to resuscitate it but where unsuccessful.
As a result of her attempt to rescue her dog, the woman suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy EMS.
Her name at this time has not been released.
The fire was likely the result of an electrical problem, Hinz said.
There's no damage estimate available.
The fire was contained to 102 River, which is the left side of a duplex. The other apartment had no fire damage.
The woman's husband had left for work at 4 p.m., Hinz said. Investigators have not yet been able to interview the woman and neighbors provided conflicting accounts of when she might have left.
Accounts do agree that she returned around 10:30 p.m. She found smoke coming from her residence and went to her neighbor's apartment to report the fire. The neighbor evacuated his three daughters and called 9-1-1. He then tried to attack the fire with a fire extinguisher, but was unsuccessful.
Batavia PD officers were first on scene.
By that time, DeJaneiro said, flames could be seen in the living room.
According to DeJaneiro, he and his wife left for dinner about 6 p.m. At that time, he said, they smelled smoke and commented that somebody must already be using their wood-burning stove this time of year.
The temperature at 6 p.m. was into the 30s or low 40s.
Another neighbor thought he heard a smoke detector at one point, but didn't pinpoint the location, DeJaneiro said.
"This may have been going on since six o’clock," DeJaneiro said. "I don’t know. It may just have been smoldering and unfortunately, this is the end result."
DeJaneiro said the woman's husband was particularly fond of Scooter.