Bronx Apartment Building Fire Kills One Woman

NY Daily News - December 19, 2016

by DALE W. EISINGER ROSS KEITH THOMAS TRACY RICH SCHAPIRO

A 52-year-old mother of two died Saturday after a fire tore through her Bronx apartment building, officials said.

The blaze broke out about 9:30 a.m. inside the bedroom of an 11th-floor apartment on Southern Blvd. near E.180th St.

Firefighters found Doris Oyola overcome by smoke as hail and freezing rain pelted the burning apartment, sources said.

Paramedics resuscitated Oyola at the scene before taking her to St. Barnabas Hospital, sources said, but she later succumbed to her injuries. No one else was hurt, authorities said.

Oyola’s husband of over 20 years, Hector, left their apartment to head to work at a lower Manhattan hotel before the fire started.

He found out about the tragedy while on the job and “was destroyed,” said Denise Rosado, 52, Doris’ sister-in law.

The victim – a Bronx native, mother of two and grandmother of five – was a “party person” who loved to dance, said her brother, 54-year-old Edwin Rosado.

“She was really sweet,” he told the Daily News. “A really funny lady.”

The family was already reeling from the loss of Doris’ brother Herminio, who died last week from a heart attack, relatives said.

“It’s very hard. Two losses in less than six days,” said Edwin Rosado. “There have been so many things going on. My mind is lost.”

Neighbors described Oyola, who they knew as Lola, as a jovial woman who was deeply in love with her husband.

“I’ll remember her charisma. She was always laughing,” said Maribal Oliveras, 52, who lives on the eighth floor. “Her and her husband, they always were like teenagers, always kissing when they were coming together, holding hands, sitting in the park.”

Oyola’s Facebook page features a series of photos of her with her husband. “Luv is grand,” she wrote alongside one of them.

Firefighters arrived on the scene within three minutes of the call. About 75 smoke-eaters fought back the blaze, knocking it down at 10:14 a.m. The FDNY is investigating the cause.

Rasheema Jackson, who lives on the top floor of the 31-story building, said she was asleep when she smelled smoke seeping in through a window.

“I was scared, and I just didn’t likethe smell,” Jackson said. “It was just a smell that told me to get out, get out, get out.”

Jackson described a chaotic scene.

“I heard lots and lots of firefighters on the floor, lots of sirens, and there was water coming in through the elevator shaft,” she said.

“Now the elevators aren’t working.”

Oyola is the city’s third fatal fire victim in the past week.

A raging blaze tore through a 13th-floor apartment in Brooklyn on Wednesday, killing 1-year-old Ivan Ramirez.

His aunt Alexandra Ortiz, 40, died Friday from her injuries in the fire at the Howard Houses in Brownsville.