Overloaded power strip caused deadly Queens fire that killed mother and daughter

FAR ROCKAWAY, Queens (WABC) -- A two-alarm house fire claimed the lives of an elderly mother and her adult daughter in Queens Monday morning was caused by an overloaded power strip, investigators said Tuesday.

Officials say that the "fully loaded" power strip was placed in an "extreme clutter" environment, with the inter-connected power strips supplying power to multiple appliances in the house. The home had a smoke detector, but it was not working.

The two-alarm fire flames broke out inside the Wheatley Street home in Far Rockaway just before 4:15 a.m.

The heavy rain and wind made the fire more challenging for firefighters to put out.

"What happens is when you have wind conditions, and we had shifting winds and very heavy wind conditions this morning, it makes fire conditions extremely difficult," FDNY Deputy Chief Dan Brown said.

With the wind fueling the flames, the home's second floor collapsed into the first floor.

The victims, a woman in her 90s and her daughter in her 60s, were taken to St. John's Episcopal Hospital, where they later died. They have not yet been identified.

The woman also has a son who stays in the basement sometimes, but officials believe he was at work at the time of the fire.

Two firefighters also suffered minor injuries.

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