Police: Woman found dead after West Babylon fire

Firefighters combing Sunday night through a West Babylon apartment building that caught fire earlier in the day found a body inside, but authorities would not identify the victim. Videojournalist: Paul Mazza (March 3, 2013)

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Firefighters combing Sunday night through a West Babylon apartment building that caught fire earlier in the day found the body of a woman inside, Suffolk police said Sunday night.

The identity of the victim was not available but Suffolk's homicide and arson squads are heading up the investigation.

North Babylon Fire Chief Thomas Jordan said the body was discovered after firefighters contained the afternoon blaze at 1029 Little East Neck Rd. about 6:30 p.m.

Jordan said arson investigators were on the scene, joining several other departments that worked for nearly two hours to get the fire under control after it started about 4:30 p.m. Four units in the building were damaged, police said.

Firefighters from North Babylon, West Babylon, Babylon, East Farmingdale and Wyandanch were among the agencies that responded to the scene.

Jordan said one resident was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital and another was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center. Their conditions were not known last night.

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Investigators are still working to determine a cause for the fire at the two-story structure, which also houses the West Babylon Lions Club and the China King restaurant on its first floor.

Suffolk police Sgt. Jim Messina said the fire is not believed to have started at the restaurant.

Residents who live in the building said the blaze could mostly be seen burning on the building's second floor.

"I just saw thick black smoke coming through my walls and when I opened my door, it was a wall of smoke," said Eddie Hernandez, 28, who was able to flee the building with his girlfriend.

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