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Bronx Woman Arrested in Fatal Fire on East 117th Street

By Wil Cruz | January 16, 2012 8:00am

MANHATTAN — A Bronx woman who went into a Harlem building with her aunt in an attempt to escape the bitter cold Sunday has been arrested after the two allegedly smoked drugs and sparked a fire that left the aunt dead, police said.

Krystle Ortiz, 26, was charged with third-degree criminal trespass a day after being injured in the blaze at 58 E. 117th St. near Madison Avenue. Police said Ortiz and Hilda Santiago, 38, also of the Bronx, ducked into the building to get warm and smoke drugs.

Santiago, however, accidentally set herself ablaze in a hallway, and later died at Cornell Medical Center, police said. Ortiz was taken to taken to the same hospital with minor injuries. She was released a short time later and arrested.