NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara Falls police have identified Thomas R. Bozek, 57, as the man who was killed in a fire early Tuesday morning in his apartment on the upper floor of 536 26th St.
Three people living on the lower floor – Rocco L. Lundy, his girlfriend Teschelle D. McNeil and daughter Jionna Lundy – were able to make it out of the burning house and across the street to safety when their smoke detector went off and they smelled smoke coming from the upper floor.
Lundy told police that he went upstairs and knocked on Bozek’s door, but there was no answer and they left to call 911.
When police arrived, they repeatedly knocked on the door and after no response, they kicked the door open and attempted to locate Bozek. A large amount of flames and smoke forced them back.
When the Niagara Falls Fire Department arrived, firemen found Bozek on his kitchen floor with severe burns. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Niagara County Coroner Cindy Lou Joyce.
Firefighters found a dog alive in the upstairs apartment and the dog was taken to the Niagara County SPCA.
The fire was brought under control in about an hour and damages to the 1½-story wood-frame house were listed at $35,000.
The cause of fire remains under investigation, but appears to be electrical, according to Niagara Falls Fire Investigator Gerald Aderhold. He said Bozek was not cooking in the kitchen at the time of the fire.