Fire claims life of Saugerties woman; four others in critical condition

The fire’s aftermath (photo by Christina Coulter)

A fire in a Saugerties three-family apartment early Saturday morning, April 21, claimed the life of a 46-year-old Saugerties woman and caused severe injuries to four other residents.  

The call came at 2:19 a.m. The Saugerties Fire Department and Police Department responded to a reported fire at 18-20 Russell St. in the village of Saugerties. The fire destroyed the three-family apartment structure at that address, resulting in the death of Tanya Conklin, who resided with her family in Apartment #2.

The fire originated in Apartment #1, which was occupied by 37-year-old Nawabzada A. Kahn, his wife Monna Khan, in addition to their three children ages ten (male), nine (female) and three-year-old (male). Nawabzada A. Kahn, Monna Khan and their ten-year-old son are currently admitted to the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. All three sustained extensive burns and are in critical but stable condition. (The three-year-old and nine-year-old children were not injured and are currently in the care of relatives, police said.)   

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Apartment #2 was occupied by Tanya Conklin, who was located deceased in a rear bedroom of the apartment. Also residing in the apartment at the time of the fire was 22-year-old Brittany Conklin, 21-year-old Malikye Stokes, 17-year-old Samantha Widener and nine-year-old Desiree Widener. A 17-year-old female friend of the family (Amber Engwiller of Mount Marion) was staying over in the apartment at the time of the fire. Engwiller, who sustained burns and injuries when escaping (by jumping out a second story window), is currently at the Westchester Medical Center, listed in critical but stable condition. All occupants of the apartment other than Conklin and Engwiller were treated for minor injuries and released.

The occupants of Apartment #3, 24-year-old Danielle Conklin, and 29-year-old Brian Shultis were not injured.

The Saugerties Police Detective Division is currently conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire, in conjunction with the Ulster County Fire Cause and Origin Team and the New York State Fire Arson Bureau.

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