New Details in Cause of Fatal Newark Valley Fire

By Matt Hicks
By Anders Keitz
By Suzanne Proulx

New Details in Cause of Fatal Newark Valley Fire

January 23, 2013 Updated Jan 26, 2013 at 2:35 AM EDT

Newark Valley, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A power strip's the source of fire at a home in Newark Valley Monday night and resulted in the death of an Owego firefighter, investigators said Friday.

Tioga County Senior Fire Investigator Frank Okrasinski said the was caused by an electrical malfunction in a shed between 10 and 15 feet away from the home before spreading to the at home 871 Chamberlin Road, the home of Richard and Valorie Hammond in Newark Valley.

Tioga County Fire Investigation Team and the Sheriff's Office said investigators determined the fire started in a shed that housed three rabbits. An extension cord from the home to the shed provided the electricity.

The investigation found the fire was started by a power strip with lights plugged in and ruled it accidental.

The fire spread from the shed to Hammond's house, camper and truck.

Owego Fire Capt. Matthew Porcari, 38, and fellow firefighter Daniel Gavin entered the burning home at 871 Chamberlain Road to attack the fire as a two-man team.

Porcari died after a floor collapsed in the building.

Gavin was also injured during the collapse, but was treated for his injuries and has since been released.

Calling hours for Porcari will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Owego Middle School Gymnasium. The funeral service is set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Owego Middle School Auditorium.