CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WIVB) - As the Ansari family home on Hyland Rd. filled with smoke,authorities believe one of the daughters used her cell phone tocall for help.
"They just heard a female screaming, she didn't say anythingabout a fire so our dispatch sent police first, because when theyheard screaming they assumed a domestic incident type thing," saidChief Jeff Glinski of the Hy-View Volunteer Fire Company.
When police arrived they smelled smoke, tracking it to a houseset back from the road.
They found 60 year-old Mohammad Ansari just inside the door.They couldn't save him and they couldn't go further into thehouse.
Captain John Glascott, Cheektowaga Police, explained, "My policeofficers are not equipped with self contained breathingapparatuses. You've got to make good quality decisions before youdo something like that."
When firefighters arrived, they needed extra line to reach thehouse. About an hour after the screaming call was made, the bodiesof 22 year-old Saaiba Ansari and 25 year-old Faaiza Ansari werereported discovered in a smoke-filled rear bedroom.
"They were in the back, there was no fire damage in the back, itwas all smoke," said Chief Glinski.
Mohammad Ansari was a retired engineer who was known for hisjerry-rigged inventions, many in public view, including a mailboxthat would close automatically.
Michelle Foss, a neighbor explained, "The mailbox is rigged,he's got it so if kids were to leave the mailbox open in the rainit would slowly shut."
Another neighbor, Larry McFarlane, tells of another invention,"T he best one, when he had the lawmower with the little cart,diving down the street, so he's saving gas. So he had his funnyways."
Clutter inside the house hampered the search for victimsaccording to fire officials. They found a smoke detector but it wasnot sounding an alarm.
"When I found out they were all deceased I actually sat in thehouse and cried because he was a nice person," said McFarlane.
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