Wantagh community mourns woman killed in townhouse fire

Authorities say firefighters had to fight off flames to reach the victim in the back of the home. She was hospitalized and later pronounced dead.

Emily Drooby

Apr 7, 2024, 4:33 PM

Updated 43 days ago

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A woman is dead after a fire broke out Saturday night at a townhouse complex in Wantagh.
Officials said the fire erupted at the Stanford Court complex around 8 p.m. Firefighters fought their way through smoke and fire to get into the home to rescue a resident who was trapped inside.
"When I stepped outside – from my house, which is a couple hundred yards away, I could see flames," said Stewart Fellner.
Firefighters were able to pull the victim from her home. Officials said she was taken to Nassau University Medical Center where she died.
Fire officials said several crews from the area assisted in putting out the fire.
"It took 40 minutes and 60 firefighters to put the fire completely under control," explained Chief Leonard Mathewson of the Wantagh Fire Department.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire from spreading to connected townhomes. No other injuries have been reported.
The victim's name has not yet been released to the public. Neighbors say they are mourning the loss.
"She spent a lot of time in the community. She did a lot of walking around, sitting by the mailbox and saying hello to people as they would pass by in the car," said Karen Miller, who was introduced to News 12 as the unofficial neighborhood “mayor.”
"...We lost a life, so it's pretty overwhelming," said neighbor Brian Wormachez.
On Sunday, friends were outside the home, leaving flowers and reminiscing.
"She helped my mother get through a tough time and was with her right up until my mother passed away," said Joe Sulfarro.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Officials said it does not appear to be suspicious in nature.


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