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police & fire

Cause Of Fatal Hopewell Junction House Fire Determined

Katherine Perez, 52, of Hopewell Junction died during a fire at her home on Saturday.
Katherine Perez, 52, of Hopewell Junction died during a fire at her home on Saturday. Photo Credit: McHout Funeral Home

A fire that took the life of 52-year-old Katherine Perez of Hopewell Junction on Saturday was caused by an accidental electrical fire starting in a wall of the home, according to East Fishkill Fire Department.

In addition, the police department said an autopsy performed by the Dutchess County Medical Examiner's Office indicated that Perez died as a result of smoke inhalation. Two other occupants of the home escaped before the fire reached their downstairs apartment.

The fire started shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday and by the time firefighters arrived at the home at 374 Augusta Drive in Hopewell Junction, the entire structure was fully consumed by fire, police said.

An officer located two occupants of the house, a 47-year-old man and his 17-year-old son on the lower level of the home, police said.

Perez was not initially located until the fire was brought under control that firefighters searching the house found Perez.

A memorial service is planned from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at the McHout Funeral Home, 895 Route 82, Hopewell Junction.

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