Woman killed in Staten Island house fire: officials

ELM PARK, Staten Island — A woman was killed after a fire broke out at a Staten Island home early Thursday.

The blaze started at about 5:49 a.m. at a two-and-a-half story home along Hatfield Place near Treadwell Avenue in Elm Park.

About 12 units and 65 firefighters responded to the scene.

Citizen video shows thick, heavy smoke coming from the house.

Elena Vitale, 20, was found inside the home and was pronounced dead soon after, authorities said.

New York Fire Marshals said Friday that the cause of the fire was smoking and that the fire was accidental. They also confirmed that there was a smoke alarm present in the home, but it was not operational.

Family members tell PIX11 Vitale was home alone and sleeping when the fire started. Her mother had just left for the airport minutes earlier to join Vitale's father a retired NYPD detective in Florida.

The medical examiner will determine the exact cause of Vitale's death.

According to family, Vitale was the youngest of four girls. She worked as an EMT and was a student at St. Paul's studying to be a medical assistant.

Two firefighters sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene, according to fire officials.

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