WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A cigarette may have caused a fire at the Winbrook housing complex Friday that took the life of Alice Foster, Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said.
The cause is still being investigated, but preliminary reports indicate the 78-year-old tenant was smoking in her back bedroom when the blaze began in her fourth-floor apartment at 135 S. Lexington Ave. shortly before noon.
Foster's apartment was the only one damaged by the fire. However, the apartments directly above and below received some water and smoke damage. No residents were reported displaced by the fire, Chong said.
Foster was found under a large pile of debris and clothes after the fire was extinguished. Chong said the apartment was very cluttered.
"The cluttered apartment made it difficult to maneuver, especially in the heat and heavy smoke conditions," he said.