Connecticut man dies in South Salem fire
NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Major Robin H. Benziger
Troop K Commander
Lewisboro, New York – On March 11, 2015 at approximately 10:00 p.m., New York State Police from the Somers barracks responded to South Salem Auto Repair, located at 1 Old Oscaleta Road, in the Town of Lewisboro, for a reported vehicle fire.
Preliminary investigation reveals that the business owner, James J. O’Connor, 48 years old, of Brookfield, Connecticut, was working on a Volkswagen Golf next to the repair shop when the engine compartment ignited. O’Connor attempted to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher and was unsuccessful. Attempting to save the structure from damage, he pushed the Golf further away from the structure. The Volkswagen side-swiped a parked vehicle causing O’Connor to fall and become pinned between the two vehicles. O’Connor succumb to the injuries that he sustained in the fire.
A neighbor located across the street from the auto body shop reported to police that he heard a loud noise and glanced out of the window, observing the flames. He immediately contacted 911 for assistance. The Somers Fire Department arrived on scene and extinguished the flames.
Several vehicles were damaged in the fire. At this time, the fire has been deemed accidental in nature.