Investigation continuing into Deer Street fire

OBSERVER Photo by Jimmy McCarthy A fire last week that heavily damaged a vacant home on 434 Deer St., pictured right, and an occupied home on 432 Deer St., pictured left, is still under investigation.

An investigation is continuing into what sparked a fire that ripped through a vacant home in the city and spread to a next-door residence.

Fire Chief Mike Edwards said the investigation is being led by city and county fire investigators. Edwards said fire investigators are looking into a couple of things. “Right now, it’s not determined,” he said. “Depending on the circumstances, there may be stuff that might have to send to a lab. They might be looking for video in the area. That’s not necessarily specific to this fire, but those are the things they do.”

City firefighters were called to the 400 block of Deer Street on the night of July 4, during the fireworks, for reports of a structure fire. Firefighters, upon arrival, found the vacant 434 Deer St. heavily involved. The fire spread to adjacent 432 Deer St. residence.

Firefighters battled heavy smoke and extreme heat throughout the night and into the next morning. Chautauqua County Fire Police controlled traffic during the fire while area fire departments provided support through response and standby.

The vacant two-story home at 434 Deer St. that suffered extensive damage is slated for demolition. The occupied residence also saw heavy damage.