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New York Mills woman escapes fire

A New York Mills woman managed to escape her burning house May 22 with the help of a fast-acting neighbor.

Maggie Austin was treated for 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her right hand as a result of a fire at her home on Cornwell Avenue on New York Mills' east side of town last Thursday.

Austin, 65, was sitting in her living room when the fire started, and was able to make it the few feet to the front door but had trouble making it past the doorway and outside to safety. Austin has cardio pulmanary disease, which requires her to be on oxygen and limits her mobility.

Tim Vaughn, a retired New York Mills Fire Chief who lives across the street from Austin, saw smoke and flames coming out of the house and ran over to assist her out the front door.

After getting her across the street with the help of another neighbor, Vaughn then returned to the house and used a garden hose to put water on the fire. The fire is believed to have started on a bed just inside the front door, under a large window looking out into the street.

Vaughn's actions kept the flames contained until the NY Mills Fire Department arrived.

Firefighters extinguished the remaining flames and kept the fire from spreading to other areas of the house.

The house suffered extensive fire, smoke and water damage to the main floor. Austin is currently staying with her daughter and son-in-law, Kerrie and Steve Steinbach.

The exact cause of the fire is undetermined.