Woman Critically Injured in Upper East Side Fire

By Ben Fractenberg and Aidan Gardiner  on November 27, 2012 6:50am

 A 41-year-old woman was critically injured with burns to her back and face after a predawn blaze erupted at 431 E. 73rd St. on Tuesday, November 27, 2012. 
A 41-year-old woman was critically injured with burns to her back and face after a predawn blaze erupted at 431 E. 73rd St. on Tuesday, November 27, 2012. 
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

UPPER EAST SIDE — A woman was badly burned early Tuesday in an apartment fire, an FDNY spokesman said. 

The blaze started in the top floor of 431 E. 73rd St., near York Avenue, at about 1 a.m. and took 45 minutes to get under control, witnesses and officials said.

The unidentified 41-year-old woman suffered burns on her back and face and was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she's in critical condition, officials said. 

Another woman who lives in the building said she saw her neighbor wheeled out on a stretcher and said she appeared to be conscious. 

"It was very traumatic," said Lauren Cotugno, 26.

Neighbors said they saw smoke billowing from the top floor as firefighters on the roof used axes and chainsaws to break through to the fifth-floor apartment below. 

"It was bad. There was a lot of black smoke coming out," Cotugno said. "It still smells."

A firefighter was also injured in the blaze and taken to New York-Presbyterian, where he's in stable condition, the spokesman said. 

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