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The Latest: 2nd occupant of car that sparked huge fire dies

January 2, 2019
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Firefighters try to contain a fire on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 in Fall River, Mass. A woman crashed her car into the apartment building, setting off the massive fire, (Jack Foley/The Herald News of Fall River via AP)
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Firefighters try to contain a fire on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 in Fall River, Mass. A woman crashed her car into the apartment building, setting off the massive fire, (Jack Foley/The Herald News of Fall River via AP)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — The Latest on a fire at a Massachusetts apartment building (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

The passenger in a car that crashed into a Massachusetts apartment building on New Year’s Day, setting off a massive fire, has died.

A spokesman for the Bristol district attorney said Wednesday that 75-year-old Linda Leahey, of Fall River, died at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

Authorities say she was a passenger in a car driven by 72-year-old Judith Mauretti, of Fall River, that crashed into the Four Winds Apartments in Fall River on Tuesday morning, rupturing a gas line. Mauretti died at the scene.

The fire displaced about 80 residents of the 36-unit building, although there were no reports of injuries.

Fire officials say six firefighters were injured battling the blaze.

The building was demolished.

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2:50 p.m.

A Massachusetts apartment building that burned after a woman crashed her car into it and ruptured a natural gas line is being demolished.

Fall River Fire Chief John Lynch said Wednesday says firefighters will likely remain on the scene at Four Winds Apartments for several days.

Authorities say 80 people who lived in the building’s 36 units have been displaced by the blaze that started Tuesday.

Lynch said six firefighters were taken to the hospital. He previously said four firefighters were hurt.

About 100 firefighters from several communities responded.

The fire began Tuesday morning after 72-year-old Judith Mauretti, of Fall River, crashed her car into the building. Emergency crews arrived to find Mauretti dead in her vehicle. Her 75 year old passenger was critically injured but no residents were hurt.

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10:31 a.m.

A woman who crashed her car into a Fall River apartment building, setting off a massive fire, died Tuesday, authorities said.

Hours after officials said the fire had been put out, the blaze flared again.

The fire began Tuesday morning after 72-year-old Judith Mauretti, of Fall River, crashed her car into the building. Emergency crews arrived to find Mauretti dead in her vehicle, the Bristol District Attorney’s Office said.

A 75-year-old Fall River woman who was a passenger was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in critical condition.

The building was evacuated after the crash, which ruptured a gas line. The district attorney’s office earlier said all of the occupants were accounted for and there were no reports of injuries among them.

Four firefighters were hospitalized for exhaustion. Fall River Fire Chief John Lynch told the Herald News none was seriously injured.

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