White Plains fire victim identified

Posted: Updated:

Authorities have identified the woman who died in an early morning apartment fire in White Plains on Monday.

Investigators are trying to determine if Lily Askew, 45, died before the fire or as a result of the blaze.

Officials say flames broke out at the six-story, 60-unit building at 170 Grand St. around 7 a.m.

They say they do know the flames started in Askew’s second-floor studio apartment. Firefighters found Askew near the stove in her kitchen and she was already dead when crews reached her. They also say the apartment was extremely cluttered.     
Firefighters were able to work quickly to keep the flames contained to the one apartment.
Dozens of people living in the building were forced out of their homes, some going down the fire escape.

Residents tell News 12 there were no working fire alarms and that neighbors had to bang on each other's doors to alert them to get out. One resident says that the lack of fire alarms may have resulted in the woman's death. "It shouldn't have happened. If they would have had an alarm, it would have been different. Maybe she could have been saved if there was alarm," says resident Anna Baeza.

There is no word yet on the cause of the fire.

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