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82-Year-Old Woman Killed In Manhattan High-Rise Fire

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A fire in a Manhattan high-rise building turned deadly early Tuesday morning.

The fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. at 315 Seventh Avenue near 28th Street.

After the fire was extinguished, responding officers found 82-year-old Gloria Hillman unconscious and unresponsive in her third-floor apartment, police said.

FDNY Battalion Chief Gene Rice told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck firefighters brought Hillman down to the lobby where they performed CPR, but she could not be saved.

The medical examiner will determine cause of death.

“Very hurt, very hurt, I’ve known her for over 35 years, very nice lady,” the building’s superintendent Ramon Vargas told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.

“I used to see her every morning as I left to go to school, she would always ask me how was school, if I was working, how I was doing in life,  it’s just tragic,” resident Anthony Vargas said.

“I was crying. I miss her. She was a beautiful lady,” said resident Nilsa Vargas.

The fire was contained to the victim’s apartment, but heavy smoke filled the 22-story building.

“I was scared about getting trapped,” Anthony Vargas said. “As we kept going down the stairs it got smokier and smokier as we went downstairs.”

“I went to the third floor and couldn’t even open the door, so much smoke,” Ramon Vargas said.

There were no other reported injuries and all tenants were allowed back into their apartments, police said.

Hillman lived in the apartment with her grandson, who is in his 20s, but he wasn’t home when the fire broke out, Jiang reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Meanwhile, a truck on its way to fight the blaze crashed into an SUV at Seventh Avenue and West 31st Street. Two firefighters were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries.

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