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Police identify victim in Albion fire

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 December 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The victim in Friday’s fire at Nayman’s, a small engine repair shop at 205 North Main St., has been identified as the business’s owner, Francis Nayman, 76.

The fire and death have been ruled accidental with no foul play suspected, Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said.

“This determination is based upon the evaluation of the scene combined with an autopsy performed by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office,” Nenni said.

Police and fire investigators believe the fire was caused when Nayman came into close proximity of a portable propane heater. That caused Nayman’s clothing or the wheelchair he was sitting in to ignite, Nenni said.

Nayman is a long-time owner of the business. He suffered a stroke several years ago and was limited to the wheelchair. He inspired many in the community with his work ethic. He also was active in the local Democratic Party for decades.

Albion Police and the Albion Fire Department were dispatched to Nayman’s at 3:51 p.m. on Friday for a possible structure fire. Firefighters entered the building with smoke and a fire on the floor in the center of the mechanics area of the business.

The fire was quickly extinguished and the smoke was ventilated. Nayman’s badly burned body was found on the floor by a wheelchair that was also heavily damaged, Nenni said.

The incident was initially ruled suspicious due to limited physical evidence initially observed and the circumstances surrounding where the body was located, the police chief said.

The official case ruling will be made when lab results are returned following additional forensic tests to be performed, Nenni said.

The incident was investigated by the Albion Police Department, Orleans County Fire Investigation Unit, New York State Police ID Unit, New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Orleans County Coroner’s Office and the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.