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Thu., Oct. 8
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Teenager injured in Malone fire listed in critical conditon


MALONE - The condition of the 19-year-old Malone man injured in Tuesday’s house fire that claimed the life of his worsened dropped serious to critical on Thursday.

Jared Smith sustained severe burns to his hands, face, throat and lungs when his home at 20 South St. caught fire in the early morning.

“The one thing he’s got going for him is he’s 19 and healthy,” his father, Kevin Smith, said. “He took one step back today, but he could take two steps forward tomorrow.”

According to the elder Mr. Smith, his son has been on life support to help him breathe since being airlifted to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt., on Tuesday.

Doctors attempted to take his son off the machine Wednesday night but failed, he said. Over the night he also suffered a collapsed lung.

It is a wrench in the medical team’s initial hopes that Jared might be returned to his father’s home by Monday next week, but the family remains hopeful.

Jared Smith’s mother, Pamela Taylor, 45, did not escape the fire on Tuesday. Her body was discovered in her second-floor bedroom and autopsy results concluded she died from smoke inhalation.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later through the Bruso-Desnoyers Funeral Service Inc. of Malone.

Officials have not yet released a cause for the fire, although Malone Village Police Chief Chris Premo said Wednesday that there “appears to be no foul play.”

The family has received no further information beyond rumors, Kevin Smith said.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Vernon Rivers, 39, also escaped the burning building. He was treated at the Alice Hyde Medical Center for smoke inhalation and burns to his hands and legs.

His mother and sister, both named Linda Rivers, are trying to collect clothes for Mr. Rivers, as well as Jared and his twin brother, Jordan. They lost everything in the blaze.

Their sizes are as follows: Vernon Rivers is a size 34-32 with large shirts, Jared Smith is a size 32-32 with medium shirts, and Jordan Smith is a size 28-30 with medium shirts.

Donations can be brought to Vernon River’s mother’s home at 325 Record Road in West Chazy. People can also call her at 518-493-3068 so she or Vernon Rivers can pick things up.

“Anything would help, please,” said his sister.

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