2nd woman dies after fire at Plainview senior living facility

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, February 19, 2024
2nd woman dies after fire at Long Island senior living facility
Chantee Lans has the story.

PLAINVIEW, Long Island (WABC) -- A second woman has died after a fire at a Plainview senior apartment complex over the weekend.

Crews responded to a fire at the Harmon Shepherd Hill Apartment Complex on Central Park Road around 5 a.m. Sunday, where officers say the saw smoke and flames shooting from the second floor roof.

Firefighters and officers evacuated several residents from the building.

Officials say an 84-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene. She was identified Monday as Theresa Casale.

A 74-year-old victim who suffered burns was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition where she was later pronounced dead. She was identified Monday as Lynne Citron.

Several other residents were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

Neighbors who knew the victims spoke out after the tragic fire.

"It's devastating. It's shocking," resident Christine Intindoli said. "I was friends with Lynne. I knew her pretty well."

Nibia Cipriano lived right next door, and barely escaped the flames.

"My apartment is on the second floor next to the whole fire," she said.

Cipriano's door cam video captured an officer helping rescue the 61-year-old mother of five from her apartment.

"It was something like out of a movie," she said. "To see all that smoke and not see a staircase or a wall in front of you, that was scary. I thought I was still dreaming."

Neighbors say Casale was in hospice.

"From what I understood, according to Lynne, she was on palliative care, which is another word for hospice, so they were upstairs," Cipriano said. "It was no way they could've made it downstairs."

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino released a statement saying the town will always be there for the families of those who were killed.

"We mourn the lives of those who passed away and we pray for those injured and displaced by the fire. What occurred on Sunday is unimaginable and our heart breaks for the families impacted by this tragedy. The Town will continue to assist the Housing Authority with resources needed to help those who lost their homes."

Oyster Bay Housing Authority owns the senior complex.

A housing authority employee who was on site told Eyewitness News that he's not authorized to speak.

Residents say they recently received an "approved" inspection notice for the building.

Many displaced residents are now searching for answers.

"The fire marshal, I would love to get a written report when he comes to the determination of what caused it," Intindoli said.

Above all, their thoughts are with the families of the victims.

"It's just sad all the way around because I lost everything, but people lost their lives," Cipriano said. "That you can't replace."

Neighbors say they're not aware of any known relatives for Casale. They say Citron leaves behind two daughters who are now having to plan their mother's funeral on President's Day.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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