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"Matriarch of Harlow Place" dies in house fire

Posted at 4:20 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 18:41:10-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An elderly woman named Mary Parks has died after a structure fire on the city's East Side, according to a Buffalo Division Fire Chief.

The two alarm fire broke out on Harlow Place around 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Officials say Parks died of smoke inhalation and the fire was accidental. Officials add, she was the only person in the home at the time of the fire.

Her family tells 7 Eyewitness News, she was 96-years-old and retired from Buffalo Ford Stamping Plant in her early 70s.

"When they think of Harlow Place and they think of Mrs. Parks, she's the matriarch of that street," Parks' daughter, Mary, said.

Our crew at the scene learned that three firefighters were injured trying to rescue the woman. One firefighter sustained a knee injury and the other two received minor burns. All the firefighters are expected to recover.

The fire division chief says the fire started on the first floor and spread. Officials add that the fire was "electrical in nature."

Buffalo fire officials say the damage to the property is estimated at $225,000. Investigators say two other homes incurred exposure damage estimated at $15,000.

The Parks family says services will be held at Calvary Baptist Church on May 31st with the wake at 10a.m. and funeral at 11a.m.