A 96-year-old Lenox woman has been tentatively identified as the victim of a fatal house fire on Whitelaw Road early Sunday morning. Madison County Sheriff Ronald I. Cary reports it is believed that Harriet Belino of 3207 Whitelaw Road, Canastota, is the victim found in that residence after a blaze at her home this morning.
Deputies and members of the Madison County Fire Investigation Team are continuing their investigation, Cary said.
Madison County 911 Center dispatchers received two telephone calls at about 5 a.m. Sunday regarding a house fire on the Whitelaw Road in the town of Lenox. One call was from a neighbor and the other from a passing motorist who saw the flames from a distance on North Main Street.
Members of the Canastota Fire Department, the first department responding to the fire, upon their arrival found the residence fully involved in flames.
Once the fire was extinguished the victim's body was found in the bedroom area of the house. The victim is believed to be have been the lone resident of the house at the time. The structure, a one family home, was totally destroyed by the fire. Only three chimneys remained standing after the building burned and collapsed.
The victim was transported to the Onondaga County Medical Examiners Office where efforts will be made to positively identify the victim and determine a cause of death.
Several of the victim's family members were present at the scene and able to provide sheriff's and fire investigators with information helpful in the investigation, Cary said.
According to Sheriff Cary, efforts to determine the cause and origin of the fire are being conducted by the Madison County Fire Investigation Team and Madison County Sheriff's Office evidence specialists.
Fire departments responding to the scene as mutual aid to the Canastota Fire Department included Wampsville, Lincoln, North Chittenango, Chittenango, Durhamville and Sylvan Beach. Greater Lenox Ambulance Service also responded to the scene.