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Long IslandSuffolk

Victim ID'd in fatal 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)

The woman killed Sunday in a West Babylon apartment fire apparently started by cooking oil was identified Tuesday as resident Gail Giampino, 59, police said.

Suffolk County police investigators believe the fire started in another apartment -- sparked by oil used to cook chicken wings -- in the two-story structure on Little East Neck Road, which also houses the West Babylon Lions Club and the China King restaurant on its first floor.

The fire was reported at 4:35 p.m. About two hours later, firefighters contained the blaze and found Giampino's body in the bedroom of her apartment.

One resident was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital and another was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, North Babylon Fire Chief Thomas Jordan said. Their conditions were not known Tuesday.

Residents who live in the building said the fire could mostly be seen burning on the 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.

With Gary Dymski

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