UPDATE: The Garfield resident killed in a fast-moving fire this afternoon was identified tonight as the homeowner’s 50-year-old daughter.
Denise J. D’Agostino, the former director of St. Mary’s Cemetery in Saddle Brook, was pronounced dead after being found in the first-floor kitchen in the back of the house, emergency responders told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.
Authorities said two pets died, but firefighters revived a cat ( see photos ).
Police Officer Michael Hawroniak was on patrol when D’Agostino’s 19-year-old daughter came running from the River Drive home just after 6 p.m., saying that her mother was inside.
Hawroniak tried to get inside but was beaten back by the flames, Capt. Darren Sucorowski said tonight.
Firefighters said they found heavy flames on the first floor rushing toward the second.
Elmwood Park and Wallington firefighters joined their Garfield colleagues at the two-alarm blaze. A Saddle Brook engine remained on standby.
Investigators from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification were dispatched.
D’Agostino and fellow Garfield resident Kathy Barbier were working at a Saddle Brook cemetery when authorities last year said they took $180,000 from grieving loved ones for plots and mausoleum crypts and used the money for themselves. D’Agostino was free on $25,000 bail. READ MORE….
Her 74-year-old mother, Frances Mihalik, died earlier this month.
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