Human remains found inside Clifton, NJ, home after fire identified

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Tim Fleischer has the latest from Clifton.

The woman killed in a fire in Clifton over the weekend has been identified.

The fire began shortly before 2 p.m. on New Year's Day, and drew the attention of neighbors. Clifton firefighters arrived at the home on Pershing Road, and began working to knock down the fire, which neighbors said had moved up to engulf the second floor.

Clifton Police said that the remains of Suzanne Castelein, 52, of Clifton, were found in a first floor bedroom.

Mike Russnak said he hurried to his neighbor's house, only to find it fully engulfed in a matter of moments. "It sounded like it might have exploded ... It sounded like a propane tank or something went off," he said.

"It was just unbelievable to see how the flames work so fast. It was really scary to watch that," said neighbor Danielle Minkin.

One neighbor laid a bouquet of flowers and silently spent a few moments amid the charred debris on the front steps.

The cause and origin of the fire is also being investigated by Police, Fire, and the Prosecutor's Office.

The Medical Examiner is also conducting an autopsy on the remains for the cause of death.
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newsfirefire deathClifton
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