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TWO PEOPLE FACE CHARGES AFTER FATAL GOWANDA FIRE

Charges have been filed against two people as a result of a Gowanda police investigation into a fatal fire, but the arrests aren't related to the fire, police said Tuesday.

Leonard Hurkes, 19, of Gowanda, died in the March 6 fire that destroyed the house at 144 Chestnut St. Flames broke out in the two-family home during a house party that might have included underage drinking.

According to Gowanda fire officials, a man in his 50s lived in one apartment, and a single mother, Angelina M. Ovitt, 36, now of Torrance Street, and her two teenage sons occupied the other. Hurkes, a friend of the teens, had lived there for several weeks before the fire.

Ovitt was charged with five counts of unlawfully dealing with a child, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of criminal nuisance, all misdemeanors.

Casey R. Wolff, 21, of Broadway Road, was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and criminal nuisance. Information on Wolff's role in the case was unavailable late Tuesday.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a third person facing multiple charges, police said.

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