Neighbors rescue Van Buren woman from early morning fire

Fire crews at 203 Baker Boulevard housefire. / Craig McDowell

Neighbors helped rescue an elderly woman from a fire in Van Buren Friday morning.

Kay Oldenburg, 79, lives in the house at 203 Baker Boulevard in Van Buren where a garage caught fire this morning. 911 received a call shortly after 4:30am and fire crews were on the scene a few minutes later.

Neighbors tell CNY Central that as soon as they saw the flames, a number of neighbors were pounding on doors trying to get the woman out.

"It was awful," says Laura Wimmer, who lives across the street. "The whole house filled with smoke, and it was making these loud crackling popping noises, and flames were just everywhere."

One heroic neighbor, David Koegel, went into the house through a window to help pull Oldenburg to safety. Koegel is friends with Oldenburg's granddaughter, who occasionally stays with her but was not in the house at the time.

"It was very smoky," says Koegel. "I went into the hallway and into the living room, and I saw that her grandmother Kay was standing in there, and she was looking for her cats. (The house) was already pretty far gone, so I just got her out."

Another granddaughter of Oldenburg, Jacquelynn Gibson, says she is very grateful and thinks Koegel took action.

"It's really good," says Gibson. "If he didn't, she wouldn't be here right now because she would've been still sleeping, She would've not even realized it, and it would be really horrible."

Lakeside Fire Chief Michael Kolakowski said that when crews arrived on scene, there was heavy smoke and flames coming from the garage. As you can see from the photo, the garage is destroyed and the house has been damaged.

Richard Blansett, of the local Red Cross said that the Disaster Action Team is providing assistance to the residents affected by the fire.

No injures have been reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Stay with CNY Central for updates as they come in.