Press release for fatal car fire in Copake


Copake, NY- Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett reports that his office, with assistance from New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and The Columbia County Cause and Origin Team are investigating a fatal car fire in the Town of Copake, New York.

On June 14, 2019 at approximately 12:04am, Columbia County 911 dispatched Hillsdale Fire Company and Community Rescue Squad for a reported vehicle fire in a driveway at 543 North Mountain Road in Copake. Deputies also responded to assist the fire company.

When units arrived, the vehicle was fully involved. After the fire was extinguished, Deputies observed a body in the front passenger area of the car. The victim has not yet been identified; however, it is a male. In addition, a dog was also located in the vehicle.

This fire is still under investigation at this time by Sheriff’s Office Investigators, OFPC, and the Columbia County Cause and Origin Team. County Coroner Bernadette Powis responded to the scene and is also investigating. An autopsy is scheduled at Ellis Hospital tomorrow morning with Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard to determine the cause of death.

Also assisting at the scene was the Columbia County Fire Coordinators Office.

Investigating at the scene for the Sheriff’s Office were Sheriff David Bartlett, Undersheriff John Davi, Captain John DeRocha, Senior Investigator Kevin Skype, Investigator William Dunspaugh, Investigator Ian Boehme, First Sergeant John Rivero, K9 Sergeant Heath Benansky, Deputy Daniel Keyser, and Deputy Matthew Leonard.

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