Multiple Rescues in Syracuse, NY

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Authorities have identified a 4-month-old boy and a 64-year-old woman as the two people killed in a fatal house fire earlier this morning.

Marvon Gunn, 4 months, and Margaret Settles, 64, were pronounced dead at Upstate University Hospital, authorities announced at a press conference this afternoon.

Six others inside the 2014 S. State St. home were also taken to Upstate University Hospital. Shantique Settles, 38, and Shamir Tape, 3, are currently in critical condition.

Travis Agnew, age unknown, remains at the hospital. Three others, 21-year-old Lashontee Spencer, 17-year-old Shaquasia Spencer and 8-year-old Tayonna Dunbar were treated at Upstate University Hospital and released.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner was joined by Syracuse police Chief Frank Fowler, Syracuse fire Chief Paul Linnertz, Syracuse fire Lt. Joe Galloway and city police Sgt. Tom Connellan at the press conference.

“We have had a really gut-wrenching day here in Syracuse,” Miner said.

Onondaga County 911 dispatch first received a call at 3:31 a.m. saying that the backyard of the home was on fire, Miner said. Firefighters arrived at the scene at 3:33 a.m., at which time 911 dispatch received another call saying that the house was fully engulfed.

Firefighters initially fought the fire from the outside, because it was too dangerous at first to send firefighters inside, Linnertz said.

The fire began in the first-floor kitchen, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Miner said.

The fire quickly traveled up a rear staircase and up to the second level of the home. There, firefighters found Margaret and Shantique Settles and Gunn together in a front bedroom, Miner said.

A second group of firefighters found Tape in another second-floor bedroom, Miner said.

All those living in the home are related, but their exact relationships are still unclear, Connellan said. They were renting the home. County property records show the owner of the home as a Brooklyn-based LLC.

The home did have smoke detectors, but it’s not clear yet if they were operational. There were no apparent code violations in the house, Miner said.

At this time, police are not investigating the fire as criminal, Fowler said, adding that there were no signs of any foul play.

“We ask that the people of our community keep this family in their thoughts and prayers as they go through what is a tremendous and unthinkable loss,” Miner said.

Those wishing to help the family can contact the mayor’s office at (315) 448-8005.

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