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Bronx Grandmother Killed, Three Others Hurt In Early Morning Fire

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TWC News: Bronx Grandmother Killed, Three Others Hurt In Early Morning Fire
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A Bronx woman is dead and three others injured, including a five-year-old girl, after a fire tore through a Bronx apartment early Friday morning.

Fire officials say flames broke out shortly before 4 a.m. on the second floor of a home located at 326 Swinton Avenue in Throgs Neck.

A family friend identified the victim as 55-year-old Enriqueta Velez, known in the neighborhood as Ketty.

Police and firefighters pulled a 55-year-old man and a 75-year-old man along with the girl.

Velez was found on the third floor.

"We did see a lot of smoke. We saw the fist gentleman they pulled out - they laid him out right there on the patio. The firefighters went in and they pulled out three others victims, a small girl and two other middle-aged women. I've known these neighbors my entire life. It was just so surreal and so bizzare to see it," said one neighbor.

Relatives on scene identified the man as Velez's husband, Ramon, the son of the late Bronx politician and activist Ramon S. Velez.

The young girl is said to be the couple's granddaughter, Liza.

Velez's mother, identified as Martha Morales, was also injured.

All were rushed to Jacobi Medical Center and are in stable condition.

Velez senior founded the Hunts Point Multi-Service Center which became a major provider of health and social programs and patronage in the South Bronx.

He was also a fundraising and voter registration powerhouse for the Democratic party.

He died five years ago.

"I respect the old man, even though I was always fighting with him. I was the only one part of the community leadership that was always fighting with him. But I know what he did for the Bronx," said State Senator Ruben Diaz Senior.

Diaz said the son continued the work his father started.

"It was a shame what happened to him because he was one of the nicest guys, he always joked very happy and was always happy. It's a shame how the fire happened," said one neighbor.

"A good family man. They seem to be a good family. The grandfather was always maintaining the property, putting up new fences," said another neighbor.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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