Syracuse man dies in house fire; Chief says there were no working smoke detectors

Syracuse Fire Chief Michael Monds tells our crew at the scene that firefighters entered the home and found one man in the back of the house (CNYCentral Photo).

A Syracuse man has died in an early morning house fire, the fire chief tells CNYCentral.

The fire started just before 6 a.m. on Shuart Ave. between Wilson and Vine St.

When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the home. Firefighters rescued James Sauta, 58, from the building. They said he was unresponsive, and taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Fire Chief Michael Monds says Sauta died later in the morning.

Chief Monds says there were no working smoke detectors in the home. Right now, they don't know the cause of the fire but Monds says it does not appear suspicious.

"That’s just awful it makes me feel even worse," said Heather Sweeting, who says she knew Sauta. "If there were smoke detectors then maybe he would’ve had a chance."

Monds says this is the sixth fire death in Syracuse since he became chief in January 2018. Five of those deaths have occurred in homes with no working smoke detectors, he said.

Two firefighters were also hurt while battling the fire. Chief Monds says they were treated and released.

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