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Electrical problem believed to cause fatal Hogansburg fire

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HOGANSBURG — Preliminary reports indicate an electrical problem caused the house fire Sunday morning on St. Regis Road that killed three people.

Jarius Chrisjohn, 46, Javin Chrisjohn, 5, and Hunter Chrisjohn, 3, of 184 St. Regis Road, died of smoke inhalation, autopsy reports show. Family members Michelle David, 27, and her son Jericho Chrisjohn, 8, escaped.

The flames forced firefighters out of the building, thwarting attempts to rescue the father and his two young sons. The home was engulfed by the time fire departments responded, states a Thursday release by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council.

An Akwesasne Mohawk Police constable was first on the scene, the news release said. Several community members also stopped to assist before Hogansburg, Akwesasne and Bombay volunteer fire departments arrived. Firefighters had the blaze under control within 45 minutes, but crews from 12 separate emergency response agencies remained until 8 p.m.

Tribal police expect the final report to be released by the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control soon. Funeral arrangements are by Donaldson Funeral Home in Massena and Carter Funeral Home in Syracuse.

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