Smoke inhalation killed Akwesasne fire victims: autopsy

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CORNWALL, Ontario - Three people who died in a tragic Akwesasne fire succumbed to smoke inhalation, according to autopsy reports.

A father and two of his sons died in the fire last Sunday morning on the U.S. side of the Akwesasne reserve.

Jarius Chrisjohn, 46, Javin Chrisjohn, five, and Hunter Chrisjohn, three, all of 184 St. Regis Road, were killed, said Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police. 

A pair of other family members escaped from the burning building, police added.

The blaze was investigated by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Franklin County Fire Department Cause and Origin Unit and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control. 

The Hogansburg Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the fire, with Mutual Aid assistance from the Bombay Volunteer Fire Department.

"Our Akwesasne Mohawk police were first to respond to the fire despite being outside of their official jurisdiction," read a Mohawk Council of Akwesasne press release. "All of our community’s police, ambulance staff and volunteer firefighters will need the community's emotional support this week as they experience their own personal grief."

The home, located at 184 St. Regis Road, was destroyed.

A memorial service is being held Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y.

Geographic location: Ontario, U.S., Regis Road Syracuse, N.Y.

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