Woman Dies, 9 Injured After Fire Rips Through Washington Heights Apartment Building

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What to Know

  • A fire that tore through a Washington Heights apartment building Friday morning claimed the life of a 41-year-old woman and injured 9 others

  • Natasha Paulema, originally from Haiti with deep ties to the Haitian community in the neighborhood, was pronounced dead at the scene

  • The blaze that ripped through the fourth floor of a building on West 158th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue shortly after 12:40 a.m.

A fire that tore through a Washington Heights apartment building Friday morning claimed the life of a 41-year-old woman and injured several others.

Natasha Paulema, originally from Haiti with deep ties to the Haitian community in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood, was pronounced dead at the scene of the blaze that ripped through the fourth floor of a building on West 158th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue shortly after 12:40 a.m.

Paulema’s 8-year-old daughter is in critical condition, while Paulema’s 70-year-old parents were also taken to a local hospital as a result of the fire.

Nine people were injured in the fire. Aside from Paulema’s daughter, seven of the injured are in critical condition.

At a time when the city was grappling with the season’s first snowfall, residents jumped from their beds to flee from the flames, with some using fire escapes to get out and others heading back inside the building to help older residents trapped in the upper floors.

In the halls, charred signs of the fire that moved through the building could be seen as remnants of the blaze.

Resident Juan Turbino, who lives on the fifth floor, said he barely made it out, calling the scary event a “living hell” for those inside with a thick, blinding smoke overpowered the building.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.





Source : Nbcnewyork