According to the New Hartford Fire Department and the New Hartford Police Department, a February 2014 house fire in upstate New York that claimed the lives of two brothers, ages three and seven, and a 21-year-old woman was caused by an electrical appliance that appears to have failed. The failed appliance was along the outside wall in the northeast corner of the house. Investigators said that “every resource available” was utilized to investigate the fatal fire. The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control used a specially trained K-9. In addition, the Utica Fire Department provided technical assistance to state investigators.
The fire broke out in mid-February at 10:54 a.m., when people called 911 to report flames and smoke coming from the house on 11 Osborn Road in Oneida County. Firefighters from New Hartford, Willowvale, New York Mills, Clark Mills and Clinton responded to the call. Emergency personnel finally got the blaze under control at 2:52 p.m., nearly four hours after arriving on the scene.
According to a news release for the New Hartford Police and Fire Departments, “The intensity of the fire forced the firefighters to withdraw from the interior of the residence.”
However, in order to try to save two young brothers trapped inside the burning house, firefighters used chainsaws to cut an entrance into the back bedroom where the boys were. Although there was heavy fire, rescuers managed to carry the two boys, Joshua Morinitti, 3, and Jordan Morinitti, 7, out of the home, The Onondag County Medical Center concluded that the two boys succumbed to smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.
As National Grid shut off electrical and gas utilities to the home, firefights still continued to battle the blaze and search for 21-year-old Jennifer Moore, who was trapped inside. The New Hartford Highway Department was called upon to bring an excavator, which was used to clear away portions of the collapsed structure. As a result, firefighters were able to enter the basement where they found Moore. An autopsy later revealed that the young woman was also killed by smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Five people survived the fire and were treated at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and released. They are: homeowner Janet M. Moore, 67; Jessica Morinitti, 27, whose sons died in the fire; Brandon Hill, 27, Morinitti’s fiancé; Mason Hill, Morinitti and Hill’s one-month-old son; and Jennifer Moore’s two-year-old son, Vincent Talerico. The American Red Cross provided assistance to the family after the fire.