Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Fatal Fire Update in Corning

Fatal Fire Update in Corning
Corning (WENY) -- At one thirty this morning, four fire departments responded to the Kimble Hill Road fire, which neighbors say "lit up the night sky." It only took 15 minutes to control the flames, but that's all it took to ravage the property and take two lives.

"You know, I heard the sirens, and then I get up this morning and hear that they're both gone," said neighbor Matthew Speciale. "It's crazy. I've known them for so long."

Police are only confirming the ages of the victims as 81 and 66. Neighbors know them as Henry and Gary -- Two friends who lived in the mobile home for more than 25 years. The early morning fire took both their lives, burned their home completely to the ground, and almost spread to nearby woods.

"The fire, when I first arrived on scene, about 75 percent evolved in the structure," said North Corning's Assistant Fire Chief, Adam Nehring. "There was no offensive attacks made because of that percentage, so we switched to a defensive operation very quickly."

"Anytime you have this much fire loss it is very difficult to determine the cause," said Tim Marshall, acting director of Steuben County EMS. "But we've got a good team of investigators on the scene here, and we're working through it."

Neighbors are shocked and say they'll miss talking with Henry and Gary, who recently showed off their new car to the neighborhood.

"I feel really bad about that because, I mean, they didn't do any harm up here on the hill," added Jeremy Harrison, who knew the victims. "They just minded their own business and went on their way."

"It's going to take some getting used to not seeing them up and down you know, talking to them," said Speciale.  "I think that's about all I can say. It's just going to be weird for a while."