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3-Year-Old Boy Dies In Catskills Bungalow Fire

Officials: Clip-On Fan Suspected Of Shorting An Electrical Outlet, Sparking Blaze

LIBERTY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Brooklyn family was in mourning Monday after a fire in the Catskills killed their little boy.

The fire broke out around 10:15 p.m. Sunday at Camp Mareh Yechezkel on State Route 55 in the town of Liberty in Sullivan County. Video from the scene shows one of the bungalows engulfed in flames.

The child’s mother was able to get two other small children out of their burning bungalow.

The devastating fire was a frightful spectacle, destroying a two-family bungalow and taking the life of 3-year-old Ahron Follman, who died of smoke inhalation. A family member told CBS 2′s John Slattery the child’s mother was despondent.

Of the Follman family’s six children, three were in the bungalow at the time of the blaze. The mother was able to get her 6-month-old and 5-year-old child out of the flames, but Aron was trapped by the fire in a rear bedroom, Slattery reported.

When troopers arrived, they were told the little boy was trapped in the burning building. They went inside to try to find him, but were forced out by smoke and flames, police said.

Several fire departments from surrounding areas also responded and put out the fire. Investigators said the boy’s body was later found in the rear bedroom.

Following the funeral, friends went to the family’s Borough Park, Brooklyn home to pay respects to the child’s mother and father.

“She’s coping. She’s a very strong person and has a lot of faith,” cousin Peri Follman said.

The mother told investigators she was in the kitchen when she heard the sizzling of sparks. A clip-on fan is suspected of shorting an electrical outlet, Slattery reported.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind said that part of the Catskills is one of many places in the area where people go in the summer to get a taste of the country.

“The idea of losing a child, a 3-year-old … being there one moment and not being there the next moment, it’s something that tears at your heart. I can’t imagine,” Hikind said.

Fire officials said the bungalow colony did not have smoke detectors.

A state police trooper and sergeant suffered smoke inhalation and were treated at Catskill Regional Medical Center. The 5-year-old child was also treated for burns to his leg.

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