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Olean woman critically injured, loses baby in apartment fire

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Posted at 11:10 AM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 11:10:46-04

A woman who was critically injured in a fire in Olean on Sunday was airlifted to Syracuse hospital, according to the Olean Times Herald.

Amber Ruhland, 21, was still in critical condition Monday evening, a hospital spokesperson told the Olean Times Herald.

The publication says the fire happened in Ruhland's North Seventh Street apartment.

Ruhland's roommate and the daughter of a woman who lived in the adjoining duplex told the Olean Times Herald Ruhland was pregnant and lost the unborn baby as a result of the fire.

The Olean Times Herald says Ruhland's roommate, who was also the father of the unborn child, was not home at the time. He told the Olean Times Herald the child died at Olean General Hospital before Ruhland was airlifted to Syracuse. Upstate Medical Center was not able to confirm this information for the newspaper, saying the hospital could only release information about Ruhland's condition.

The article reports firefighters were called to the apartment fire at 10:36 a.m. on Sunday. Olean Fire Department Captain James Bennett told the Olean Times Herald firefighters put the blaze out "almost immediately, within five minutes." Firefighters then searched the apartment for the woman who had not left the apartment.

According to the Olean Times Herald, firefighters found Ruhland unconscious in an upstairs bedroom. She was carried down an inner stairwell to an ambulance and was later airlifted via Mercy Flight to Upstate Medical Center at 3:30 p.m., according to Captain Bennett.

A firefighter and unidentified apartment occupant sustained minor injuries as a result of the fire, according to the publication. It also reports a dog living in Ruhland's unit died. The people and pets in the adjoining unit were able to escape without any harm, according to the Olean Times Herald.

The article reports the fire is still under investigation. According to the fire captain, there are no signs of foul play and firefighters believe the blaze was started in the kitchen.

According to the Olean Times Herald, the fire and smoke damage is estimated at $10,000, with fire damage confined to Ruhland's unit. Smoke damage was present throughout the structure.