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A Town of Tonawanda man was critically injured early this morning in a fire that left $40,000 damage to his family's rented home at 359 Overbrook Ave.

The victim, tentatively identified as Harlow Tucker, 50, was pulled unconscious from the basement by Brighton Fire Company volunteers Kenneth Schwartz and Brett Hanford.

Tucker was listed in critical condition later today in Erie County Medical Center.

Tucker's wife, Sandra, 44, and her children, Todd and Ann Beatty, fled from the home after being awakened by a smoke detector. Her husband, however, was believed to be either sleeping or watching television on the basement couch.

Brighton firefighters responding to the 12:51 a.m. alarm under Chief Robert Mooney brought the fire under control at 1:24 a.m.

Town fire officials said they are investigating the possibility that the fire started in a basement garbage can where something had been left smoldering from a party Sunday night.

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