1 dead after Hightstown apartment fire

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. - December 23, 2013

Firefighters responded around 6:00 a.m. to the Deerfield Apartments, located on the unit block of Westerlea Avenue.

A neighbor told Action News he saw the victim after she escaped the apartment, standing outside with other residents waiting for fire trucks to arrive.

That neighbor, Jose Lozano, said the victim was burned trying to fight the fire and appeared to be having chest pains.

Lozano said it appeared she tried to use water to put it out and was burned in the face.

Another neighbor, Cindee Owens-Fair, said she couldn't understand the woman's screams because they were in Spanish.

However, Jacinto Sancho said the victim was concerned about cash she left inside the burning apartment.

The woman's name has not been released. An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be conducted on Tuesday.

Residents we talked to said they were stunned and heartbroken that one of their neighbors died in this terrible fire, a loss made somehow worse by the fact it comes so close to Christmas.

"I feel bad for her, you know. Christmas almost coming and like you should be with family," said Nancy Quinde.

While no official cause has been released, sources tell Action News that it appears accidental and possibly electrical in nature, because multiple extension cords were found in the apartment.

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