Penn Yan man dies in fire

John Christensen
A kitchen fire in this Penn Yan apartment house claimed the life of tenant Nate Woodcock.

An early morning kitchen fire June 3 at 134 Hamilton Street Apt. 3 in Penn Yan apparently claimed the life of Nathaniel Woodcock, 30, one of the residents of the apartment.

According to other tenants, there was a crashing sound about 12:30 a.m. but no indication of any fire or trouble. Police  were called to the scene by Woodcock's roommate who returned home about 8:30 a.m.

According to Penn Yan Police Chief Mark Hulse, the fire began on the kitchen stove at about the time of the reported noise, but eventually burned itself out. There was heavy smoke damage throughout the apartment.

Woodcock was found in the living room. His body has been transported to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. While no official cause of death will be released until after that examination, police believe the cause to be smoke inhalation.

Landlord Willie Muchler says that Woodcock and his roommate had been living there for about 11 months and had never been any trouble at all. He also expressed his sympathy to the victim's family.

Assisting at the scene were the Penn Yan Fire Dept., Ambulance Corps, Medic 55, the Yates County Sheriff's Dept. and Fire Investigation Team.