A family of five was left homeless Christmas Day after discarded gift wrappings in a fireplace started a fire at their home on Central Avenue.
Firemen identified the owner as Barbara L. Edwards, a member of the Salamanca District School Board of Education and a former Cattaraugus County treasurer. She was not home at the time of the fire around 2 p.m.
Cattaraugus County Fire Investigator Ronne Herman said Edwards' three grandchildren, a 10-year-old boy and 8-year-old twin girls, were home with their mother, Tammy Edwards, 29.
Herman said embers were left in the fireplace from a fire Christmas Eve and when wrapping paper and boxes were put into the fireplace, they started a fire that caused as much as $20,000 damage to the house at 202 Central Ave.
Tammy Edwards was transported by Salamanca Fire Department ambulance to Olean General Hospital, where she was listed in stable condition Saturday evening. Officials Sunday declined to discuss her condition or treatment.
Firefighters said the children were in the care of family members.
Firefighters from Kill Buck assisted city firemen fighting the fire until after 5 p.m.