Fire Turns Fatal

ELLICOTT – A 93-year-old man was found dead inside his home Thursday night after it was engulfed in a raging structure fire.

Arthur E. Carlson was found inside the 3161 Moon Road residence after Fluvanna fire crews responded at approximately 10:40 p.m.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by Chautauqua County Coroner John Sixbey. Smoke inhalation was ruled the cause of death.

“This is one of the worst fires we’ve had in the past few years,” said Rob Stafford, Fluvanna fire chief.

“When we arrived, (we observed) the back half of the house fully (on fire) … and it was rapidly spreading across the house.”

The Fluvanna Fire Department, along with the Bemus Point, Busti, Ellery Center, Ellington, Falconer, Frewsburg, Gerry, Kennedy, Kiantone and Sinclairville fire departments, battled the fire for nearly four hours.

“Structure-wise, there’s nothing that can be recovered,” said Stafford, who indicated that the house will likely be demolished because of its significant fire damage.

Investigators determined that an electrical wire had been compromised in a crawl space under the kitchen of the home. The electrical wire shorted out and caused the floor joist to ignite.

Carlson, whose wife Elsie passed away less than a year ago, lived alone in the home. He was a World War II veteran who later worked at Chautauqua Hardware and Reliable Roofing while raising cattle and horses at the Moon Road farm. Carlson is survived by two children, and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 6-8 p.m. Monday in the Lind Funeral Home. A memorial service will not be observed.