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Two young children die in house fire

Infant clings to life in Boston hospital

Fire investigators from New York State and Clinton County comb the charred remains of an AuSable home where two children, ages 4 and 7, lost their lives Monday night.

Fire investigators from New York State and Clinton County comb the charred remains of an AuSable home where two children, ages 4 and 7, lost their lives Monday night. Photo by Shawn Ryan.

— Two young children are dead and a third is clinging to life in a Boston hospital following a structure fire at 918 Clintonville Road in the Town of AuSable Monday evening.

New York State Police report that Tucker J. Burnham, age 7, and Payden A. Burnham, age 4, were killed at approximately 9:30 p.m. on June 30 when their home was engulfed in flames.

Tucker and Payden, along with their six-month-old sister Raelynn S. Burnham, were being cared for by their aunt, Penny M. Stone, age 23, when fire broke out in a bedroom of the trailer-home. Stone attempted to extinguish the flames but was unsuccessful. Stone was able to flee the residence along with her two children, ages 2 and 4, who were also being cared for by Stone at the time. She then sought assistance at a relative’s house nearby.

The relative, who has not been named by State Police, was able to enter the burning residence and rescue Raelynn. Attempts to rescue the other two children were unsuccessful due to the smoke and intense heat.

Raelynn was transported first to the Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital in Plattsburgh, and was then transferred to the Shriner’s Childrens’ Hospital in Boston, where she remains in critical condition.

Investigators from the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and the Clinton County Fire Investigators’ office combed through the wreckage of the home all day Tuesday as troopers canvassed the rural neighborhood for information.

Autopsies on Tucker and Payden are scheduled for today, July 1.

A candlelight vigil is being planned for the Burnham children on July 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the AuSable Forks Elementary School. People are asked to bring their own candles, preferably battery operated. Friends and family are encouraged to speak, and donations will be collected for the family.

Update

The parents of Raelynn Burnham have requested that her condition not be released to the media. She was last listed in critical condition at Shriner's Children's Hospital in Boston.

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