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Ripley man dies in late afternoon house fire

MAYVILLE – A 61-year-old Ripley man died of smoke inhalation after an electronic device accidentally caught fire in his home at 108 W. Main Street, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office reported tonight.

Kevin L. Lantz was rushed to Westfield Memorial Hospital shortly after the Ripley fire Department found him in his house shortly after the house fire was reported at about 4 p.m. Lantz died a short time after he arrived at the hospital.

The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team determined an electronic device accidentally caught fire in the house and though Mr. Lantz seems to have been able to remove the device and put it on the porch of his house he collapsed of smoke inhalation.

An investigation is continuing but the fatal fire appears accidental in nature, according to a sheriff’s spokesman.

The Ripley Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Sherman and Westfield fire departments.