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Hughesco owner is found dead; Stricken in home on Grand Island

The owner of a high-profile home contracting company specializing in energy efficiency was found dead Wednesday in his Grand Island home.

Darin Hughes, 48, owner of Hughesco Inc., could not be revived by paramedics Wednesday night after police received a call of an apparent cardiac arrest -- a man not breathing -- at a Whitehaven Road address, according to Ray Pauley, a spokesman for the Grand Island Fire Company.

The home is owned by Darin Hughes and his wife, Dana.

Amherst-based Hughesco specialized in doing home-performance audits and recommending energy-efficient improvements to lower utility and heating costs.

It's also well-known for its local marketing, especially the company's memorable television commercials. The company is affiliated with GreenHomes America.

The emergency call regarding Hughes came in at 10:47 p.m. Wednesday.

The exact nature of his death has not yet been determined, according to the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

An investigation remains open, pending the results of an autopsy and toxicology tests performed Thursday morning by the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office, according to Mary Murray, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

Darin Hughes founded Hughesco in 1991 as a remodeling business, according to background information from the Hughesco website, which is no longer online.

He dramatically changed the company's direction after meeting with an Energy Star representative in 2001 and agreeing to home-performance training.

The company expanded into a full-service "Home Performance with Energy Star" contractor.

Hughes often made home visits locally and recommended energy-improvement plans to homeowners.

In 2002, Hughes received the Joseph Wachowiak Outstanding Citizen Award for, at the risk of his own safety, aiding an injured motorist.

The motorist had been thrown from her car in an accident on the Youngmann Highway in the Town of Tonawanda.

He has also received numerous awards over the years for his work with the New York State Energy Research Development Authority.

email: jhabuda@buffnews.com and stan@buffnews.com