NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man trapped in his Bronx apartment amid piles of clutter was killed Friday in a raging fire.
Firemen said they had trouble getting into the third floor apartment of 65-year-old Tyril Royer because of hoarding conditions all the way up to the door.
The fire happened on East 234th Street just before 1 a.m. The victim’s 18-year-old daughter was too distraught to talk about the tragedy, and how her father might have gone back into their apartment looking for her.
“Collier’s mansion, meaning just wall to wall, every day, household things, about waist deep,” FDNY Lt. Jim Grismer told CBS 2′s John Slattery.
It was difficult for firefighters to navigate through to the fire escape, where they found the wife, Claudette Royer.
“When we arrived, the wife was out on the fire escape, and we believe the husband was overcome,” Grismer said.
One next-door neighbor, who who smelled smoke and called 9-1-1, said the husband had gone back inside from the fire escape looking for their daughter who was not home.
The building superintendent, Vinnie Maldonado, said that’s what the wife told him.
“He was safe to get out. He’s fine, but he thought his daughter was inside the house, so he went back in,” Maldonado said.
The fire marshal said the cause of the fire was an overloaded power strip in the apartment foyer.
Neighbors said that last year the FDNY advised the family to get the clutter out of the foyer because it was a safety hazard.
Claudette Royer was taken to Montefiore Medical Center for tests.
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