CORINTH — A mother of nine and one of her daughters died in a house fire Nov. 20, but three others, including two young children, were able to escape the blaze.
The fire took the lives of 15-year-old Briaunna L. Slimmer and her mother, Tonya L. Slimmer, 39.
Corinth Fire Chief Andy Kelley later said the fire was caused by a lit cigarette.
Tonya Slimmer’s 20-year-old son and two of her children, an 18-month-old and a 3-year-old, were home at the time of the fire. Others were in school when the fire broke out.
Two firefighters rescued the young children, and they were transported to Saratoga Hospital, then transferred to Albany Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation and released. Tonya’s husband, Jerry, was at work at the time of the fire and returned to the scene. More than 40 volunteers worked at Corinth First United Methodist Church gathering donations for the family. Several events were held in the community.
In a letter to students’ families, school Superintendent Mark Stratton noted Briaunna had been in Corinth schools since kindergarten and was a member of the Leo Club, the chorus and cross-country team.
A GoFundMe fundraiser has raised more than $14,000 and additional donations have been received by a local bank.
The house was demolished after being condemned by local officials.
The home was in a tightly packed neighborhood up the Main Street hill from downtown Corinth. There appeared to be no damage to the houses on either side.
Firefighters continued working on the roof for hours after putting the fire out, tearing it off in strips. The weather was chilly with high winds and snow squalls at times.
The Corinth Fire Company and Jessups Landing EMS were assisted at the scene by numerous fire and EMS organizations from the northern part of the county and parts of Warren County.
Other departments on the scene were Greenfield, Luzerne-Hadley, Saratoga Springs, West Glens Falls and Wilton, along with state forest rangers.