The deaths of twin toddlers in a fire Monday afternoon left Olean stunned, but it didn't take long for the community to rally around the boys' family.
A fund has been set up for the Scott and Lisa Maine family at a local bank, donation buckets have appeared at many restaurants and beauty salons, and local beauticians quickly organized a "cut-a-thon" to raise money for the family.
Daniel and Nicholas Maine, 2-year-old twins, were killed after the fire started in their first-floor bedroom at their home at 416 W. Henley St. Scott Maine, their father, suffered smoke inhalation and burns over 50 percent of his body while trying to save them.
He was listed in serious condition today in Erie County Medical Center.
Fire officials said the boys' 4-year-old brother told them he was playing with a lighter when a curtain in the bedroom caught fire.
"It's such a tragedy, we can't fathom how it would be," said Helen Procacci, a family friend.
Maine's wife, Lisa, had been visiting a sick friend in Cleveland when the fire broke out.
Mrs. Maine had operated a beauty salon in the house, which was gutted in the fire. Maine is a chef at L'Alcove in Olean.
"We're stunned. We're grieving for them. We want to do everything for them we possibly can," said Kim Ball, a beautician at A Cut Above.
There are about 46 salons in the Olean area, and most will be participating in a "cut-a-thon" April 8, 9 and 10 in the Olean Center Mall, Mrs. Ball said.
The cut-a-thon also will benefit two other beauticians who are seriously ill, including the woman Mrs. Maine was visiting in Cleveland, she said.
Maine has worked at L'Alcove about six years and worked for another Olean restaurant before that, said his boss, Brad Butchello.
"What can you say about the loss of two children?" he said.
Workers at the restaurant are shocked and are trying to cope, he said. Many know the Maines and their children.
"Overall morale is hanging in there. Everybody is hanging in for more positive news about Scott," Butchello said.
The restaurant started a collection for the Maines Tuesday, and family members asked for more buckets to place in other businesses in town, he said.
The Lisa and Scott Maine Donation Fund has been established at Community Bank. Spokeswoman Terry Carpenter said donations should be sent to Box 1554, Olean 14760.
Ms. Carpenter said the account was set up Tuesday.