Apartment fire claims life of Wilmington, NY, woman

Published: Jun. 3, 2019 at 9:35 AM EDT
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A Wilmington, New York, woman is dead following a fire Saturday morning.

Residents of the Springfield Road neighborhood are still in shock after the fire that left one woman dead over the weekend. "911 got the call around 9:13 in the morning, first arriving units got there at 9:20," said Max Thwaits with Essex County Emergency Services.

By the time they arrived several people were already out, thanks to a neighboring business. Witnesses tell Channel 3 the father and son who own Parkside Supply noticed the smoke, called 911, and jumped into action. "Luckily they were there doing work and they heard the screams and they assisted helping someone out of the window," Thwaits said.

They alerted a family of five with young children who live in the back apartment. The father and son also pulled a man out of a bedroom window. That man is ok, but his girlfriend didn't make it. The rescuers tried to get to her but couldn't. "They even tried to enter the house to help also," Thwaits said.

Brittany Barney, 37, died in the blaze that started in her bedroom. Her neighbor, the woman who escaped out back with her husband and three children, started a memorial for Barney on their front lawn. She says she can't stop thinking about Barney and is encouraging people to stop by and drop something off.

As of right now, officials say the fire does not seem suspicious. "Nothing at this time points to that, we're still waiting for lab results and an autopsy," Thwaits said.

The rescuers said they don't consider themselves heroes and did what any person would do.

Investigators say they will be back at the scene Tuesday morning to gather ore information.