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PAVILION – A Genesee County man was taken to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia Tuesday with a back injury he suffered while rescuing his four young children from a fire.

A kerosene heater accidentally sparked the blaze about 10:15 a.m. that destroyed the two-story house at 8029 Telephone Road, Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha said.

Jessie Rosenbaum, 26, and three of his children were upstairs when his 3-year-old son went downstairs and saw that an overturned kerosene heater had sparked the blaze in the downstairs bathroom, the sheriff said. The boy ran back upstairs and alerted his father, who lowered all four of his children from a second-story porch to the ground before he jumped, injuring his back, Maha said.

A passer-by called in the fire at 10:18 a.m.; Pavilion volunteer firefighters were assisted at the scene by firefighters from Alexander, the City of Batavia, Bergen, Byron, South Byron, Le Roy, Stafford, Caledonia, York, the Genesee County Emergency Management Office and a Mercy EMS crew.

Homeowner Teresa Martinez told investigators the kerosene heater was operating safely when she left the house for work about 6:30 a.m.

Damage estimates were not complete tonight and the official cause remained under investigation.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com