Man killed, wife seriously burned in New City house fire

NEW CITY – A man was killed and his wife was seriously injured in a house fire that suddenly flared up at 51 Hansen Avenue in New City last night.

Clarkstown Police were notified of the fire by witnesses at about 11:30 p.m. Upon their arrival, they found the building’s garage engulfed in flames and Ruth Fernandez, 65, outside the house with severe burns.

Fernandez told first responders that her husband Luis Fernandez, 67, was still trapped in the garage. However, firefighters were unable to get past the flames-which at one point reached 20 feet in the air-to reach him.

Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control within 20 minutes, but could not save Luis, who was found dead in the house’s garage. Ruth Fernandez was reported to have sustained serious burns as a consequence of the fire and has been taken to the burn center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Police and fire investigators are continuing to piece together the events leading to the fire, but stated that witnesses initially reported a sound akin to an explosion. Additionally, Luis reportedly went to the garage after he smelled gasoline.

At this time, investigators do not suspect foul play.