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Police identify victim of East Quogue house fire

Police have identified the 68-year-old woman who died in a fire Friday afternoon in her East Quogue home.

The victim, Linda Berry, was pulled from the front room of her West Side Avenue home around 4:15 p.m. by two East Quogue firefighters, according to Southampton Town Police Sgt. Jim Cavanagh.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Berry’s husband, Freddy Berrato, 48, was returning home from work when he found the house in flames, Cavanagh said.

Officers found Berrato “frantically” trying to get into the house. He suffered smoke inhalation and burns before he was pulled out by police officers, according to a statement released Saturday night by police.

Berrato was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center, the sergeant said. It was not known Saturday evening if he had been released.

A police officer was struck in the eyes by flying glass when he broke a window to get inside the home, Cavanagh said. He has since been released from the hospital.

While the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, Cavanagh said Berry was a “very heavy smoker.” Police said in a statement that the cause does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

The fire was under control in 10 minutes, according to Lt. Ted Jankowski of the East Quogue fire department. The damage was mostly in the front of the house.

Firefighters from the East Quogue and Hampton Bays fire departments responded, as well as ambulances from East Quogue and Hampton Bays. The Southampton Town fire marshal’s office and police detective division are investigating the fire; the Suffolk County Police Department’s Arson Squad also responded to the blaze.


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