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1 person killed in Washington Heights apartment fire



NEW YORK — One person was killed in an apartment fire in Upper Manhattan on Saturday morning.

We’re told the fire started around 6 a.m. at a building on West 180th Street in Washington Heights.

Fire marshals determined an electrical fire started in the ceiling on the third floor.

The FDNY says one person on the fourth floor died.

Resident Jasmine Guardiola was trying to keep warm as she searched for the Red Cross.


“Putting your hands without gloves in your pocket, it feels like frostbite,” she said.

The mother of two grew up in the building on West 180th Street and now lives on the first floor with her family. She says it’s a tight-knit community.

“So it was pretty scary to walk out and see your neighbor’s house on fire,” she said.

The FDNY says more than 100 fire personnel responded.

“My cats were crying, my dog was pacing back and forth … We started smelling the smoke, so then my wife was like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to go,’” Guardiola said.

Guardiola’s other concern was making sure her neighbors were all safe and warm.

“This is a very friendly neighborhood. We all grew up together,” she said.


Guardiola says the victim was an elderly man.

“I hope his soul finds peace … He didn’t have any family. He had no wife, he had no kids, so he was very lonely,” she said.

Guardiola says several elderly people live in the building, but we were told the community stepped into action to make sure displaced residents didn’t have to wait in the cold while they figured out their next steps.

“There are people who are reaching out to us and telling us, hey, my house is open to you … We have neighbors that we grew up with who are opening up their apartments to the elderly as well,” she said.

A community giving a whole new meaning to a friendly neighbor.

The Red Cross says 10 units were evacuated, displacing about 25 people.


Source: CBS

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