A Niagara County man and his nephew were killed in a fast moving fire trailer home fire over the weekend. Investigators say they found no working smoke detectors in the home although they're still trying to figure out what started the fire. Relatives tell Eyewitness News the victims are Ken Martin, 28, of Wilson and his young nephew Mark Hadsell who lived in the trailer on West Creek Road in Newfane.
"He would do anything for anybody," says Melanie Shank of her cousin Ken Martin.
Martin was apparently trying to save his nephew after other family members escaped the fire just before dawn on Saturday. "I heard pounding and screaming at my door and when I came to the door the girl was yelling, 'my house is on fire, my house is on fire, call the police'," said Kathy Clark who lives nearby. The woman screaming was the boy's mother and Ken Martin's sister. She and one of the other children were hurt in the fire and are still in the hospital according to relatives.
Investigators say if the home had a working smoke detector this story might have a different ending. "We've had two fatal fires where there's been no smoke detectors in the residence," says Chief Jeffrey Brown of the Miller Hose Fire Company, "We're all aware of the outcome and it could possibly have been prevented by one simple $6 piece of plastic." Fire stations in Newfane are giving out free smoke detectors to anyone who stops in to ask for one.
The burned out trailer home is now condemned and will be torn down. Family members stopped by on Monday to leave flowers at a makeshift memorial to the two victims.