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Harrison Woman Killed In Fire On Underhill Avenue

Harrison firefighters head into the house on Underhill Avenue where a woman was killed in a fire early Tuesday. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
West Harrison fire trucks block off Underhill Avenue while firefighters clean up the scene of an early morning fire. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Firefighters clear debris from the apartment on Underhill Avenue. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
The window of the second-floor apartment where the fire broke out around 5 a.m. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

HARRISON, N.Y. --  A woman was killed in a fire in her apartment on Underhill Avenue in Harrison early Tuesday morning.

The West Harrison Fire Department received a call at 5:01 a.m. about an apartment fire at 154 Underhill Ave. with a possible victim inside, according to West Harrison Chief Steve Mancini. The call was made by the neighbors who lived across the hall. When firefighters arrived, they were able to make entry into the apartment quickly, and put out the fire in about five to ten minutes, Mancini said.

When they got into the apartment, they found the woman inside, who was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics. Mancini said that one of the firefighters also suffered some dehydration fighting the blaze, but refused to go to the hospital.

The fire was pretty much contained to the living room of the second-floor apartment where it originated, with some extension into the attic. The two apartments on the first floor are uninhabited, and the residents of the other second-floor apartment were able to evacuate safely. Mancini said that the building is deemed uninhabitable while officials investigate the cause of the fire.

The woman's identity is being withheld until family members can be notified. Mancini said that she was about 50 or 60 years old.

"She was always very friendly," said a neighbor who lives across the street, who asked not to be identified. "One of our neighbors has cerebral palsy, and whenever he had a problem she would always help him out."

Another neighbor said she first saw the lights from the trucks and smelled the smoke around 5 a.m. After walking her child to school, she came back to the scene to watch firefighters clear out debris.

"It's sad," she said.

Mancini said that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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