NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Investigators are confirming that they found no evidence of a working smoke detector in the Harlem apartment where a mother, her stepson and four young children were found dead after a fire Wednesday morning.

In January, a NYCHA inspection showed that apartment 5G in the Frederick Samuel Houses was in compliance and had a working detector.

Harlem fire victim, 45-year-old Andrea Pollidore, was killed along with four kids and one adult early Wednesday morning. 

But a friend says Andrea Pollidore, who died in the blaze, had a habit of disabling the smoke alarm when she cooked.

“It goes off when you even turn on the toaster. So she would turn it off when she cooked, but she didn’t cook at one in the morning,” said her friend.

Investigators say Pallidore had been cooking early Wednesday and fell asleep with the gas stove on which ignited the fire that engulfed the apartment while everyone slept.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for the funerals. To contribute, click here.


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