Elderly Woman Killed in Ludlow Street Apartment Fire

By Adam Nichols on January 7, 2011 12:29pm | Updated on January 8, 2011 9:49am

A firefighter checks the Ludlow St. building in heavy snow.
A firefighter checks the Ludlow St. building in heavy snow.
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Julie Shapiro/DNAinfo

By Julie Shapiro and Adam Nichols

DNAinfo Staff

LOWER EAST SIDE — A woman was killed when a fire ripped through her apartment on Ludlow Street, fire officials said.

Claudette Rivera, 72, was found dead inside the first floor apartment at 124 Ludlow St., near Rivington St.

Several tenants told DNAinfo that she lived alone and used a walker. 

"I heard a lady screaming, and I heard the fire alarms going off," said Evan Green, 28, who lives in the building.

He left his apartment and tried to go downstairs to see what was wrong and help, but there was too much smoke, so he went out the fire escape on the back of the building.

"I was worried," he said. "She was screaming so much."

Other residents said Rivera had been using her stove top to keep warm after problems with her heating Friday.

"There was no heat or hot water in that building this morning," said Adrian Cutner, 65. "She turned on the oven for heat. She was too close to the stove and she went up like a fireball."

He said a neighbor forced her way into Rivera's apartment to try to save her life. That woman was also injured.

A woman receiving medical treatment outside the building said, "She had her burners on. I told her not to but she didn't have enough heat."

The building has a history of boiler violations, according to the Department of Buildings' website.

The FDNY could not immediately confirm that the stove had caused the fire.

Fire officials said the blaze broke out on the second floor at 11.18 a.m. It was under control by 11.43 a.m.


Firefighters respond to a fatal blaze on Ludlow Street.
Firefighters respond to a fatal blaze on Ludlow Street.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

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