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Troy fire that killed pregnant woman now 'suspicious'

Updated: 04/05/2014 1:08 PM
Created: 04/04/2014 8:49 AM WNYT.com
By: WNYT Staff

TROY - Police and fire investigators are continuing to probe a fatal fire on Fifth Avenue in Lansingburgh.

Police have not yet determined whether the victim was killed by the fire or died before the fire was discovered but label it suspicious.

A police captain said they don't plan to officially identify the dead pregnant woman until after an autopsy is conducted on Saturday.

They hope that will also answer questions about the manner of death and whether they have a crime scene.

The fire started late Thursday at 271 Fifth Avenue in the Lansingburgh section of Troy, very near 106th street.

Next door neighbors say they heard a sound like a door slamming extremely loudly or perhaps a small pipe bomb about the time the fire was discovered.

The fire was concentrated in the bedroom of a pregnant woman whom neither neighbors nor police wanted to identify until dental records and other autopsy methods can confirm an identity.

“Whether or not that death is a result of that fire or there was something else involved, until we find out, make that determination, like I said, we'll hold the scene and treat it as it needs to be treated,” said Troy Police Captain Daniel DeWolf.

Two brothers who lived next door at 269 Fifth Avenue told us they tried to use fire extinguishers to knock down the flames.

However, the fire got away from neighbors and fire fighters when they reached the scene. They had to concentrate of trying to save lives.

“First arriving companies were told there was a victim in the rear of 271. They were able to gain entrance and locate the victim. She was deceased upon their search of the building,” said Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett.

Police say ten people were left homeless in the two buildings, in addition to the one dead pregnant woman.

To further underline the unusual and tragic aspect of this story, NewsChannel 13 was told the grandmother of the pregnant dead woman, with whom she lived, had died the day before.

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