Faulty appliance blamed for fatal Centereach house fire

 Faulty appliance blamed for fatal Centereach house fire — Newsday.com

BY ANDREW STRICKLER | May 23, 2009

A malfunctioning kitchen appliance is being blamed for a house fire in Centereach early Saturday that killed an elderly mother and her daughter, Suffolk police said.
Dorothy Reinhard, 77, and her daughter, Elaine Moore, 60, were both unconscious when police and firefighters reached their smoke-filled home on Fulton Street shortly before 5 a.m.
They appeared to have been overcome by smoke, according to Det. Sgt. John Twiname. Both were later pronounced dead at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Suffolk patrol officers responding to a 911 call forced open a locked door to find Reinhard collapsed in the kitchen; Moore was close by in an adjacent hallway.

"It appears some sort of kitchen appliance was the issue," Twiname said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it appeared to start in the rear ground floor kitchen, filling the house with thick smoke, he said.
Police believe that Moore and Reinhard were likely asleep when the fire began and lost consciousness in the heavy smoke after being alerted to the blaze. The cause of death is to be determined by the county medical examiner.
Reinhard’s son and Moore’s brother, Karl Reinhard, 49, of Port Jefferson Station, took pictures of the damage and greeted neighbors as fire officials removed yellow police tape lining the property.
Reinhard said the house was recently renovated and had been outfitted with new appliances and fire alarms.
"Everything was brand new, so what happened?" he said. Police said it was not clear if a smoke or other alarm sounded. The house is about two blocks from the Centereach Fire Department headquarters on South Washington Avenue.
The fire was discovered by Jennifer Greco, a tenant who lives in a second-floor apartment, police said. She awoke to find smoke about 4:45 a.m. and rushed downstairs, only to be blocked by a locked door.
Greco was able to get out of the home and then went to a neighbor who called 911. She was hospitalized for minor smoke inhalation, police said, but was back at the house by midmorning. Fire marshals removed a dead cat from the property.
Reinhard said his mother was a housewife, while his sister worked in a factory. They have lived together in the house for many years, according to several neighbors, and the family was among the first to live on the block.
"I have to go tell my daughters they just lost their grandmother and their aunt," Reinhard said.

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