Woman, 38, killed in house fire in Williamsbridge; cause of fire unknown

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Bronx house fire leaves woman dead, several people displaced
Sonia Rincon has the latest on a fatal house fire in the Bronx.

WILLIAMSBRIDGE, The Bronx (WABC) -- A 38-year-old woman was killed in a fire that broke out early Tuesday morning in the Bronx in a home that had fallen into disrepair.

Officials say the blaze broke out at the home on 212th Street at around 2 a.m. Flames shot from the roof and windows were blown out.

The victim was identified later Tuesday afternoon as Tracey Ann Douglas.

Investigators are now going through the burned out home, looking for the cause.

The fire that swept through the houses had neighbors jumping out of bed, worried it would spread.

"Very scary, never seen anything like this before, we were all ready to go, but the firemen did a great job of containing the fire," a neighbor said.

Surveillance video showed young men, believed to be the the victim's nephews and their friends, desperately knocking on her door trying to get her attention and get in -- but they couldn't.

Douglas was removed from the home unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at Jacobi Hospital.

Neighbors say it was a sad situation and the woman had lived there with her mother who passed away six years ago, and since then, as she dealt with grief, couldn't keep up with the bills.

"The mother died and they left the house to the daughter and the nephews and them live downstairs," a neighbor said. "They were just living in there. No water, no heat, no electricity."

The home, the yard and the bills had become unmanageable, and some neighbors say they were getting fed up with Douglas' noisy nephews downstairs and their aggressive dog.

As the neglect became more evident, several neighbors said they called 311 repeatedly and some offered to help clean up the property.

"I said if you need bags, whatever you want, I will give it to you, just to make the place look like somebody lives here, but it didn't work," said neighbor Joyce Whyte.

Neighbors say they just hope someone takes over the house who will take good care of it. No one else was hurt in the fire and the exact cause is still under investigation.

At least three people have been displaced.


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