Father of 3 dies in New Lebanon blaze


NEW LEBANON– Adam Crawley, a 30-year-old father of three, died in a fire in the family’s home at 16 Lovers Lane in the early morning hours of November 23.

The fire was reported by cell phone to Columbia County 911 at 1:35 a.m. by Tara Darcy, Mr. Crawley’s companion, who escaped the burning house by jumping out a window.

Mr. Crawley, Ms. Darcy and her brother Andrew, who also escaped, were the only three people in the ranch-style home at the time of the fire. After their escape Ms. Darcy and her brother could not account for Mr. Crawley.

The first arriving assistant fire chief encountered a fully-involved structure fire and was told about the missing Mr. Crawley. Firefighters from the first-arriving engine immediately initiated a search and rescue and found Mr. Crawley just inside the kitchen door. He was brought out and resuscitation efforts were started by the Chatham Rescue Squad, which took him to the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, MA, where he was pronounced dead.

Also taken to the medical center was New Lebanon firefighter Aaron Sweet, who was treated and released for smoke inhalation.

Ms. Darcy’s and Mr. Crawley’s three children, two boys and a girl, ages 7, 6 and 4, who also live at the Lovers Lane address, were not at home and were spending the night at a neighbor’s house for a sleep-over.

The family dog was found with burn injuries and was taken to the office of a local veterinarian. Two cats and another dog perished in the fire.

State Police Investigator Gary Mazzacano reports that the cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but started in a rear bedroom belonging to two of the children. He said the cause is likely accidental.

Mr. Crawley died of asphyxia due to smoke inhalation and burns, said the investigator.

The fire was extinguished by the Lebanon Valley Task Force, which includes Lebanon Valley, Red Rock, East Chatham and Canaan fire companies. Lebanon Valley Chief Ben Wheeler also called for help from the Tri-Village, Tsatsawassa and Stephentown fire companies.

State Police from New Lebanon and investigators from the Livingston barracks and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Columbia County fire coordinators, the Cause and Origin Team and Chief Wheeler are investigating.

A tanker shuttle was used to supply water to fight the fire from a site on Canaan Road.

A Valatie Rescue Squad ambulance assisted at the scene.

New York State Electric and Gas was called to cut power to the home.

The following events are slated to benefit the Darcy/Crawley families. On December 4, the first annual Darcy-Crawley Benefit Run takes place at the Backwater Grille, 42 Queechy Lake Drive, Canaan. The children’s’ run starts at 11 a.m., the adult run starts at noon. Payment of a $20 entry fee includes a t-shirt. All proceeds will to be donated to a fund for the children of Adam Crawley & Tara Darcy. For more info call the grille at 518 781-0199.

On December 11, the Lebanon Valley Protective Association puts on a pancake breakfast at the New Lebanon Station, 523 Route 20 from 8 a.m. to noon. Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 children. All proceeds go directly to the Darcy/Crawley families. Mr. Crawley’s obituary appears on page 27. 

Convenience store clerk robbed at gunpoint


KINDERHOOK– County 911 summoned Sheriff’s deputies to investigate an armed robbery at the Kinderhook Xtra Mart on Route 9 Wednesday, November 23 at 12:17 a.m.

A white male wearing a teal-colored sweatshirt entered the store, displayed a handgun to the male clerk and demanded money. The clerk gave the suspect an undetermined amount of money. The clerk was not injured.

The suspect fled the scene in a dark two-door vehicle, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 518 828-3344.

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