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Elderly Woman Dies in Chelsea Apartment Fire

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Fire investigators are looking into the cause of an early morning fire in Manhattan Tuesday that claimed the life of an elderly resident.

Firefighters responded to the call around 4:30 a.m. inside a 22-story building located at 315 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea.

Though the flames were confined to a single apartment on the third floor and put out shortly after, 82-year-old Gloria Hillman was declared dead at the scene.

Building superintendent Ramon Vargas tells NY1 he was on the 18th floor when he woke up, smelled smoke and started knocking on neighbors' doors.

"At the same time I got a call from one of the residents on the third floor that there is a lot of smoke. I went down to the third floor with the service elevator and I couldn't open the elevator there was so much smoke. So I went upstairs and I started telling everyone you have to get out of the building, let's get out down the stairs. We all went down the stairs," he said.

Building residents say Hillman had lived in the neighborhood for over 30 years and shared the apartment with her grandson, who was out getting breakfast for her at the time of the fire.

Two firefighters sustained minor injuries.

Meantime, this is the second deadly high-rise fire in Manhattan this year.

Daniel McClung, 27, died in January after being overcome by smoke in a stairwell about 10 floors above a fire inside a West 43rd Street building .

No one was inside the 20th floor apartment where the fire started and McClung's death renewed calls for people to stay in their apartments and keep their doors shut if they are in modern fireproof buildings.

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