1 dead, 1 critically injured in Manhattan apartment fire

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NEW YORK (AP) — One man was killed and another was critically injured in a fire on Manhattan’s upper east side, authorities said.

The fire broke out on the second floor of a four-story apartment building on Second Avenue near East 81st Street at about 8:30 a.m., Fire Department officials said. It took firefighters about an hour and a half to extinguish the blaze, Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Ajello said.

Two male residents of the building were taken to a nearby hospital, where one was pronounced dead and the other was in critical condition, a police spokespeson said. Their names were not immediately released.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries, Ajello said.

Officials said the apartment where the fire started was extremely cluttered, which hampered the rescue effort. “One of our impediments to our fire operation was the fact that there was a large amount of contents in the apartment,” Ajello said at a briefing at the fire scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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