Schenectady County

Investigators identify victim, cause of fatal Saratoga fire

Fire ruled accidental, starting in the area of the cooking stove
The structure in which one person was killed during a fire Wednesday in Saratoga is seen on Thursday.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
The structure in which one person was killed during a fire Wednesday in Saratoga is seen on Thursday.

Categories: News, Saratoga County

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Fire officials have identified the person killed in a Wednesday structure fire on Sarazen Street.

Barbara Stamas, 79, died as a result of asphyxiation and heat exposure after the fire began in the kitchen, in the area of a gas stove, according to Fire Chief Robert Williams.

He said investigators, including the Saratoga County Cause and Origins Team, have determined the fire was accidental.

Pathology reports determined that Stamas suffered from a medical condition that may have incapacitated her or impaired her judgment during the early morning hours, and may have contributed to the fire and her inability to escape.

Stamas lived at 25 Sarazen St., a townhouse-style residence tucked between two other similar structures that appeared to be one building. Williams said the homes at 23 and 27 Sarazen St. — on both sides of Stamas’ residence — are free-standing buildings that likely will be salvaged.

The center unit, however, suffered extensive damage and will likely need to be demolished, the chief said.

The fire was called in to firefighters at around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday by neighbors and occupants of the structure. It spread into the attics of the homes on both sides and into a garage area where a car was damaged.

Firefighters were forced to fight the fire from outside the building because it progressed quickly, according to fire officials.

It took 25 firefighters roughly an hour to extinguish the flames before they entered the structure and found Stamas inside. Volunteer fire companies that assisted included Quaker Springs, Malta Ridge, Ballston Spa and Round Lake.

The American Red Cross reported providing emergency assistance to two residents after the fire.

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