Investigators probe the scene of a fire in Plainview Sunday...

Investigators probe the scene of a fire in Plainview Sunday that killed two residents of a senior apartment complex.  Credit: James Carbone

As the investigation continues into the fire that killed two residents of a senior housing complex in Plainview early Sunday, fire officials said initial indications are the cause is not suspicious.

Nassau County Assistant Chief Fire Marshal James F. Hickman said Tuesday that Building 107 at the Harmon Shepherd Hill housing complex was equipped with a fire alarm system but did not have a sprinkler system.

Sprinklers in the Central Park Road apartments are not required by law, Hickman said

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, he said, and authorities are awaiting the results of autopsies on the victims.

On Monday, Nassau County police released the identities of those two victims: Lynne Citron, 74, and Theresa Casale, 84. Authorities said Casale was found dead in the blaze, while Citron, who was pulled from the fire with severe burns, succumbed to her injuries Sunday after being treated at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

The fire was reported in a 911 call at 5:07 a.m. Plainview firefighters and Nassau police were able to quickly evacuate the building. Two other residents were taken to the hospital and have since been released, Hickman said. 

On Tuesday night, Town of Oyster Bay Housing Authority Tenant Officer Ethel Wright called the fire “devastating,” and said officials were awaiting an assessment of the structure by town building inspectors and insurance assessors to determine whether it could be repaired or would have to be condemned.

Building 107 is one of eight building in the complex, one of seven used as residential housing. The eighth is used for an office. The building had 22 units, 21 of which were occupied, Wright said.

The entire complex, which requires residents be at least 62 years of age or disabled, has 117 residential units, Wright said. She said most of the displaced residents had been placed into temporary housing, while some opted to stay with relatives.

“How could it not be devastating,” Wright said of the fire. “It's terrible.”

On Monday, Plainview Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Cohen said both victims were found in the same second-floor apartment in Building 107. He said that unit was across the hall from the apartment where it appears the fire originated, but said it was unclear which victim lived in that apartment.

With Denise Bonilla

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