BATAVIA – Twin 2-year-old brothers died in a house fire Friday night in the Town of Batavia.
The fire, reported to authorities at 10 p.m., engulfed the rear of a duplex at 8157 State Street Road. The boys, who were overcome by smoke inhalation, were found in a rear bedroom of the first-floor apartment by firefighters, according to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.
The victims were identified as Michael J. and Micah G. Gard. They were pronounced dead at the scene by Genesee County Coroner Thomas Douglas. An autopsy was done Saturday morning in the Erie County Medical Examiner’s Ofice.
Intense smoke and flames prevented Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies from entering the home minutes before firefighters responded. The upper unit of the duplex was unoccupied. A neighbor also had tried unsuccessfully to enter the burning structure, according to reports.
In a statement, the Sheriff’s Office said, “It is believed that the children were alone in the house at the time of the fire.”
The children’s mother was not home when the fire started, but returned a short time later, according to a report from WIVB-TV, Channel 4, which reported she was visibly distraught and had to be taken to a hospital.
The cause is under investigation.