.

Man Burns Woman Alive in Underhill Avenue Elevator

Police searching for suspects in blaze that also injured five people.

A woman was brutally killed after someone set her on fire in an elevator of an Underhill Avenue apartment building, fire officials said.

“It was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen,” said Deputy Chief Steven Moro. 

Five others were injured in the blaze at 203 Underhill Ave. in Prospect Heights, which began just before 4:13 p.m. at the six-story building between St. Johns and Sterling places. They found the woman's charred body in the elevator on the fifth floor soon after, fire officials said.

According to the New York Times, surveillance videos show a man dressed as exterminator before he sets her ablaze with a Molotov cocktail.  

No arrests have been made but police have .

A fifth floor resident, John, 29 years old, who did not want to give his last name, said he heard yelling from an apartment on his floor and then suddenly the commotion stopped. Then he smelled “an acrid smell, like an electrical fire.”

“I looked out my door and saw smoke coming out of the elevator and we all evacuated,” he said.

As he and his neighbors were leaving he heard a “popping sound” and saw the elevator “glowing red hot.”

“The elevator looked like a furnace,” he said.

He added, “It is deeply upsetting that someone would trap a person in an elevator and light them on fire, especially in our community and in our building.”

Fifth and Sixth floor residents were evacuated outside into the cold and wind, where the Red Cross gave them blankets and brought a NYT transit bus for them to keep warm while accommodations were set up for them.  

Editors Note: Dec. 20, 12:51 p.m.: A  up to help the family of Delores Gillespie with funeral expenses. 

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something