DURHAM, N.Y. — Grief counselors are on hand at Cairo-Durham Elementary School to help students and staff cope after Monday's fire in East Durham that claimed the lives of three of its students.
In a statement, District Superintendent Anthony Taibi says, in part, "Our thoughts are also with their father, John Mammano, who remains in critical condition. Our condolences and thoughts go out to the Mammano family during this very difficult time. The school district will offer counseling support to students and staff at Cairo-Durham Elementary School throughout the week as well as when students return from the recess period."
A GoFundMe page set up in the family's name is accepting donations as firefighters continue to investigate the cause. The page says John Mammano was living with his three children in the home, and claims he was the only survivor.
Mammano is listed in critical condition.
According to the post, his children Jonathen, age 12, Sophia, age 7, and Jayden, age 9, died in the fire along with their grandparents.
Demolition on parts of the house began Tuesday morning.
A vigil was held last night at Our Lady of Knock Shrine Church.
"You turn on the television you see tragedy unfortunately all the time all over the country in the world but when it's in your own backyard it's really really it makes you cringe," said Jerry Sheehan, one of the mourners.
Troopers say a determination on cause of death for the victims is pending autopsy.
The fire broke out in the early-morning hours Monday morning in the Durham residential home. State Police have not confirmed the identities of the victims, but say the fast-moving fire trapped five people inside, who were pronounced dead at the scene.
One eyewitness driving along that road saw the flames and stopped to call police, but says he knew it was too late.
"From all four sides, from the ground level to the ceiling, were completely engulfed in flames," said Justin LaSasso.