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Fire has taken a life on State Street in Batavia.
A  57-year-old woman, confined to a wheel chair and using oxygen, died last night when fire swept her first floor apartment at 132 State Street.
Batavia Police identified the woman as Mary E. Pawlukiewicz, 57.
 
Neighbors reported hearing what they described as an explosion around 5:45 Tuesday night. 
Ann Barone lived nearby and describes what she heard:
Batavia Police Officer Christopher Camp was the first to arrive on the scene. Officer Camp and other witnesses attempted to get inside the burning apartment but were beaten back by flames and additional explosions.Batavia Fire Chief Ralph Hyde said occupants of two other apartments in the building had managed to escape and were sheltered by neighbors across the street.  Mrs.Pawlukiewicz was home alone at the time of the fire.
Chief Hyde said firemen quickly knocked down the flames. Upon entering the apartment, the woman's body was found under charred pieces of the ceiling that had apparently collapsed on top of her.
Hyde declined to speculate that a cigarette might have caused the oxygen tank to explode.
The owner of the building, Charles Pero, told WBTA News Partner The Batavian that Mrs.Pawlukiewicz had been previously warned not to smoke when her oxygen was in use. The Red Cross is assisting other tennants of the building.

Batavia firemen place a tarp over the window of an apartment at 132 State St. where a disabled woman perished in a fire Tuesday tonight

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