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UPDATE: Resident Identified In Fatal Ridgewood Senior Housing Blaze

At the scene.
At the scene. Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving

Authorities on Monday identified a resident killed in a weekend apartment fire at a senior living community in Ridgewood.

The body of Denise Dillon, 72, was found after firefighters doused the flames in her unit at the Ridgecrest Senior Housing development on Ridge Road shortly after 7:30 p.m., Police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke said.

"At this time, it appears that the fire started accidentally," Lutchcke said.

She didn't elaborate, but responders and others said the elderly widow -- whose body was found in a chair -- was a smoker.

Firefighters confined the blaze to Dillon's apartment, with no other fire damage beyond that unit.

The smoke necessitated a complete search and evacuation of the building, however.

Some elderly residents were taken to The Valley Hospital for evaluation. None were seriously injured.

"All residents were able to return to their apartments once the area was deemed safe," Luthcke said.

Luthcke thanked all the responders:

  • Glen Rock police;
  • Ho-Ho-Kus firefighters;
  • EMS units from Glen Rock and Midland Park;
  • Valley Hospital paramedics;
  • The Bergen and Passaic county medical ambulance buses;
  • The Bergen County prosecutor's, sheriff's and fire coordinator's offices;
  • The Bergen County Office of Emergency Management;
  • The NJ Division of Fire Safety.

Boyd A. Loving took the photos and contributed to this story.

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