Three children, grandparents dead in Durham fire

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Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

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Image 2 of 17 Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

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Image 3 of 17 Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

Photo: Picasa

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Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

Photo: Picasa

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Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

Photo: Picasa

Image 7 of 17 Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union Image 8 of 17 Traffic is detoured down a road at a police roadblock on Rt.

145 not far from a home where five people died in an early morning fire on Monday, April 2, 2018 in East Durham, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union) Traffic is detoured down a road at a police roadblock on Rt.

145 not far from a home where five people died in an early morning fire on Monday, April 2, 2018 in East Durham, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

Photo: Lori Van Buren, Albany Times Union

Image 9 of 17 Traffic is detoured down a road at a police roadblock on Rt.

145 not far from a home where five people died in an early morning fire on Monday, April 2, 2018 in East Durham, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union) Traffic is detoured down a road at a police roadblock on Rt.

145 not far from a home where five people died in an early morning fire on Monday, April 2, 2018 in East Durham, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

Photo: Lori Van Buren, Albany Times Union

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Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

Photo: Picasa

Image 12 of 17 Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday, April 2, 2018, that gutted a home on Route 145. (Thomas Heffernan Sr./Special To The Times Union

Photo: Picasa

Image 13 of 17 Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday that gutted a home on Route 145. Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday that gutted a home on Route 145.

Photo: Thomas Heffernan Sr. / Special To The Times Union

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Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday that gutted a home on Route 145. Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday that gutted a home on Route 145.

Photo: Thomas Heffernan Sr. / Special To The Times Union

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Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday that gutted a home on Route 145. Firefighters in East Durham fought a fire early Monday that gutted a home on Route 145.

Photo: Thomas Heffernan Sr. / Special To The Times Union

Image 17 of 17 Three children, grandparents dead in Durham fire

Back to Gallery DURHAM — State Police are investigating a Monday morning fire that killed five people — two adults and three children — and reduced a home on Route 145 to a blackened ruin. According to a family member, the blaze at 2753 Route 145 killed Nicholas Mammano and his wife, Mary, along with three of their grandchildren, all under the age of 12.

The children’s father, John Mammano, was in critical condition at the Clark Burn Center in Syracuse. His brother, Joe Mammano, said in a Monday-afternoon Facebook post that the survivor was “sedated but will live.” “Today was the worst day of my life,” Joe Mammano wrote in another Facebook post.

He said the family had gathered at the home the night before to celebrate Easter. Cathy Ballone, the elder Mammanos’ daughter, told the Times Union she had received a call from a neighbor about the fire around 7 a.m. The fire was extinguished just after noon.

Ballone asked that those who knew her mother, who worked for four decades as a nurse for Alzheimer’s patients, make a donation to Alzheimer’s foundations and charities in her memory. Video provided to the Times Union by a neighbor, Justin LaSasso, who drove by the scene showed the house completely engulfed in flames: “I pulled to the side and called 911,” LaSasso said. “Two men in a box truck … were retreating from the house, probably due to the heat, which I could feel through my car window.” He said he left the scene after speaking with a 911 dispatcher, so he would not block emergency vehicles from accessing the home.

“We don’t have a cause yet,” said Trooper Steven Nevel, State Police Troop F spokesman. He said the investigation was ongoing. Route 145 was blocked off to traffic at both ends of Stone Bridge Road Extension.

The thoroughfare is main artery through East Durham, a rural town and the heart of the “Irish Alps” due to a long history of Irish-themed resorts and festivals, boasts signs that read: “Welcome to East Durham. Emerald Isle of the The Catskills.” Nicholas Mammano had worked for the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance before retiring.

State Police, state fire investigators and Greene County Sheriff’s deputies were on the scene through the day. Monday afternoon, State Police released a brief statement that confirmed the five fatalities but did not name the victims. Greene County Sheriff Gregory Seeley said State Police were first on the scene.

Several regional and state fire crews responded to the blaze. Seeley said his thoughts were with the Mammano family. The fire appears to be the deadliest in the greater Capital Region since 2004, when six people — five of them children — died in a house on Division Street in Schenectady.

The cause of that fire remains undetermined.

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