7-year-old killed, woman critically injured in apartment fire in Manhattan

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 7-year-old boy was killed and his grandmother was badly hurt in an overnight apartment fire in Manhattan, caused by electrical wiring.

Police officers responded to the building on 178th Street in Washington Heights around 1:30 a.m.

Flames apparently broke out in the superintendent's apartment in the basement, later determined to be an illegally converted living space.

The fire started in an overloaded power strip and was caused by electrical wiring.

The fire was contained to the apartment as firefighters were able to quickly put it out.

Five people were inside the apartment at the time.

Robert Resto, 7, the superintendent's grandson, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say he died from severe body trauma.

The boy's grandmother, a 54-year-old woman was taken to Jacobi Hospital where she is listed in serious condition.

Off camera, a family friend tells Eyewitness News, the family is devastated over this loss and they have asked for their privacy.

Several others were injured including one firefighter.
Many of the residents in the six-story building said they were unaware of what was happening.

"We just heard like fire trucks come and then it was like one and then it reached all around the corner to the front of my building. And you could just smell like almost like a short circuit kind of burn. And then now that we come over here, we find out that there was a fire in the basement of this building," one eyewitness said.

All hands were used to fight the fire, with a total of 14 units and over 70 firefighters.

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