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Still no cause for a September fire that killed three people in Buffalo

Mother of victim pushes for answers so she can have closure
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Posted at 6:06 PM, Dec 08, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — With the holidays approaching, Ruth Gouchie admits that she is having a difficult time dealing with her sadness. "It seems like it is getting harder and harder and harder with each day that goes by."

The Buffalo woman lost her son in an aggressive early morning fire on September 25, 2020 that destroyed a multi-unit house on East Utica Street in Buffalo. It took the lives of Anthony Gouchie, 25, his girlfriend Emma Johnson, 28, and a baby girl named Amira who was about to celebrate her second birthday.

"I want answers. I want to know what happened to my son and his family," said Ruth Gouchie.

At the time of the blaze, firefighters found Anthony Gouchie's car fully engulfed in flames next to the building. Ruth Gouchie thinks it may have been set on fire. "My son didn't have car problems. He may have had a flat tire but what is a flat tire."

The damage was so extensive to the structure that it was torn down.

Gouchie said she checks frequently with the Buffalo Fire Department which tells her the investigation is not done.

Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo confirmed to reporter Ed Reilly that the cause is still being investigated. Renaldo said it was his understanding that at least one more witness still needs to be interviewed before a final determination can be made.

Anthony Gouchie left behind an 8-year-old son Justin, who Ruth Gouchie cherishes. The boy received a special award from his youth football team for having endured the tragedy. "Even though my son is not here, my grandson is the only thing I left of my son," added Ruth Gouchie.


The heartbroken mom was not going to celebrate Christmas but Anthony's employer, ICS Solutions, sent her a Christmas tree. "I was shocked and was like 'Okay. To honor Anthony, Emma, and Amira I am going to put this tree up.'"

Ruth Gouchie said she plans to do a candle lighting and balloon launch to remember her son and his family during the month. She is also hoping people will light a candle on December 13th for Worldwide Candle Lighting Day to remember all children across the globe who have died.