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What you need to know for 08/19/2017

Blaze that killed Niskayuna teenager likely started in kitchen

Blaze that killed Niskayuna teenager likely started in kitchen

The cause of the fire that killed a 14-year-old Niskayuna girl Friday does not appear to be criminal

The cause of the fire that killed a 14-year-old Niskayuna girl Friday does not appear to be criminal in nature.

Fire officials are continuing the investigation into the blaze at 2241 Niskayuna Drive that claimed the life of Grace Kline, a seventh-grader at Van Antwerp Middle School.

Firefighters received a call around 8:20 a.m. Friday from a neighbor reporting heavy smoke coming from 2241 Niskayuna Drive. When they arrived, they found Grace Kline unresponsive and transported her to Ellis Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney, who was at the scene Friday, said Monday that it appeared the fire started in the kitchen area. Fire officials could not provide any updates Monday, but said there may be further details by Wednesday.

Keith Kline was heading home to take his daughter, who is believed to have a form of autism, to school in time for the 8:50 a.m. start of classes. He arrived on scene about 10 to 15 minutes after firefighters.

School district spokesman Matt Leon said Van Antwerp started the day with a moment of silence for Kline. Students and staff made use of counseling services throughout the day.

“We are committed to continuing to be responsive to the needs of the school community in the days ahead,” he said.

Kline’s obituary says that she “touched the lives of all who knew her. She was the light of her father’s life and has left a mark in the lives of all who knew her. She will be sorely missed by those who knew her.”

Kline also is survived by her mother Cynthia A. Kline, brother Kyle Kline and sister Brandy Marie Cordell, who all live in South Carolina. Funeral services will be private. Memorial contributions can be sent to the Niskayuna Fire Department 1079 Balltown Road, Niskayuna, N.Y. 12309.

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