3 Die in New Year's Eve Fire at Queens High-Rise: FDNY

Three people died in a New Year’s Eve fire at a Queens high-rise building, the FDNY said.

The fire started Wednesday just before midnight in a ninth-floor apartment on 57th Avenue in Elmhurst, the FDNY said. Food was cooking unattended on the stove when the fire started, firefighters said.

Inside the apartment, firefighters found three residents who had died in the blaze. There were no working fire detectors inside the apartment, firefighters said.

Police identified the deceased as Louise Jean-Charles, 59, Nadia Donnay, 37, and Napoleon Michel, 69.

"So sad," said Denise Peters, a neighbor. The victims were "very nice, very nice people," she added.

One neighbor, Unsha Bakker, said the fire spread outside the apartment.

"I just looked outside my window and saw an entire balcony all in flames," she said.

Jamie Peters, another neighbor, said the timing of the fire was especially tragic.

"It's horrific. It's terrible. And it's very sad to start off the new year," he said.

Five firefighters were treated for minor injuries at area hospitals.

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