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Auburndale Fire Leaves Woman Dead

By DNAinfo Staff on April 15, 2012 9:54am

By Chelsia Rose Marcius and Tom Liddy

DNAinfo Reporters

QUEENS — A woman was killed and another her cousin injured in a horrific fire in Auburndale early Sunday morning, officials said.

The fatal blaze erupted at 45-08 189th St., near 45th Avenue, just before 4:40 a.m., according to the FDNY, quickly engulfing the entire house.

Firefighters brought the flames under control less than an hour later, but discovered the body of Joanne Brown, 63, inside.

The victim's cousin, John Rebechi, who had lived in the house for 40 years, managed to escape the flames and could be heard desperately screaming Brown's name, witnesses said.

Angelo Dominguez, 33, who lives two doors down from the home, said he and his girlfriend heard the faint crackling of flames.

"I went outside and the fire was incredible," said Dominguez. "John just kept screaming, 'Joanne out, get Joanne out!'"

Rebechi stumbled out of the house, bare footed and disoriented, concerned over his cousin's safety, but Brown remained trapped inside.

While Dominguez handed his neighbor of six years some water and a pair of slippers, the fire department was able to pull Brown out of the flames.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.  Rebechi was hospitalized at New York Hospital Queens but released later in the day.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the blaze.

Police said no criminality was suspected.