Thursday, December 25, 2014


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Southern Tier

Man killed in Gouverneur fire

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Man killed in Gouverneur fire
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A late night fire claimed the life of a young man in the Village of Gouverneur. YNN's Barry Wygel spoke with police about what happened and tells us what the investigation uncovered.

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. -- It was a scene of devastation.

"It was just flames, smoke. Smoke everywhere. It was ridiculous. Flame all over, it was intense," said Matthew Miller, a neighbor.

"The police were first on scene and they tried to gain entry into the home, but couldn't due to the severity of the fire," said Gouverneur Police Chief Gordon Ayen.

Firefighters were later able to recover the body of Brian Mandigo, 22, but never had a chance to save his life. They say he was the only person in the home at the time of the fire. An investigation has given them an idea of how the fire started.

"They feel very confident that the fire originated in the kitchen from the stove, which was the result of a cooking accident," said Ayen.

They also say this fire presented challenges due to the closeness of the surrounding structures.

"We're talking 10 feet, 15 feet in between. They reduced the damage to just some melting of the siding," said Ayen.

Mandigo's mother, who also lived at the house, returned to the scene after getting word of the fire.

"We were able to contact her and she came right up," said Ayen.

After the structure had cooled Wednesday, Mandigo's mother and other family members picked through the remains of the house, looking for anything that could be saved, but were unable to find much.

Mandigo's body was transported to Potsdam for an autopsy. The results have not yet been released. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP