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Rochester Police now investigating fatal fire

by Patrice Walsh

It came in as a house fire Tuesday night at 294 Fernwood Avenue. But within minutes, it became a fatal fire. Firefighters discovered the body of 51 year old Winnie Butler inside the home. A young man helped four children get out of the home safely. Neighbors tell us Butler was babysitting for her grandchildren but didnt live in the home.

Police returned to the scene Wednesday morning, searching the home for evidence and interviewing neighbors about what they saw and heard.
Neighbors told us they saw sparks inside the home before the fire was reported, and it appeared to them as if someone started a fire inside.

The fire department says the fire started in a first floor bedroom where the victim was found dead. Police said its too early to tell if Butlers death is suspicious. The cause of the fire also remains under investigation. Police are waiting for an autopsy to determine how Butler died.

Neighbors called this a tragedy and said it appeared suspicious from the start when investigators surrounded the home with police tape. Police told us they needed to preserve the scene and returned Wednesday to make sure they didnt miss any clues or evidence inside the home.

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Washington Times