Fox Hill Gardens Fire

5/19/2007 Sad Update:

For those that don’t read the Jersey Journal or Waterfront Journal.

People said she was a wonderful person and this was a great loss. From on 5/14/2007.

Jean Singagliese, a long-time city employee, community volunteer and parishioner at St. Ann Church, died yesterday at St. Barnabas Medical Center of injuries she sustained in a fire in her apartment last week.

“Anything civic, mom was there,” said her daughter, Barbara Rotundi.

She worked as a health aide at the Hoboken Board of Health for more than 20 years, was a member of the Democratic Committee for the Sixth Ward and was a long-time member of the Parent-Teacher Association for Hoboken High School, her daughter said.

Singagliese, 87, was badly burned in a fire in her 10th floor apartment at the Fox Hill Gardens early Wednesday morning. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, her daughter said.

She also is survived by another daughter, Margaret Singagliese; two sisters, Josephine LoRocco and Katherine Mellony; one grandson, David; and two-great grandchildren.

A Mass was held this past Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Ann’s Church.

The original news article below.

This happened early this morning, from (as well as a reader who mentioned it to me this morning):

Early morning fire leaves Hoboken woman critical

A 87-year-old woman was left in critical condition early this morning from burns after a fire at her Fox Hill Garden home.

Firefighters responded to the blaze, in a 10th floor apartment at 14th Street and Willow Avenue (411 correction: 311 13th Street), at 2:10 a.m., officials said.

Police officers who arrived at the scene heard a woman screaming and saw a lot of smoke on the 10th floor, according to police, who assissted firefighters and helped to evacuate the building.

According to police reports, a 10th floor resident was taken to Hoboken University Medical Center and treated for third degree burns to her upper body. After being stabilized, she was moved to the burn unit at St. Barnabas Medical Center. A spokesman for St. Barnabas said the woman is in critical condition.

A maintenance worker who tried to rescue her and another elderly tenant who lives on the same floor were also treated at Hoboken University Medical Center for smoke inhalation, according to Fire Investigator Capt. Mike Lisa. 
The fire, which was contained to the apartment, caused heavy damage to the living room, Lisa said.

He said the fire is still under investigation and the cause has not been determined.

A police spokesman said the fire may have been caused by a lamp that was knocked over or fell on the couch.

Six companies responded to the blaze and the last company left the scene just before 4 a.m.

Charles Hack

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6 Comments on "Fox Hill Gardens Fire"

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Just a note the fire is still being investigated and the cause and origin will be made known only to the HHA and the family upon request. All safety issues, should there be any, should be discussed with HHA. I truly hope that no-one else will have to endure the pain and suffering our mother did.

And to the poster who said that Felix should be proud of himself, he should be, but it was the firefighters who actually did pull her out. Felix did attempt it but he was overcome with smoke, our mother DID suffer because she was overcome with smoke inhalation, so please don’t speculate that her suffering would have been less, the woman is no longer with us. Thank you.

Barbara Rotondi


To All:

My name is Barbara Rotondi and I am Jean Singagliese’s oldest daughter. Mom passed away on May 12, 2007, from injuries sustained in that fire. She was burned on 25% of her body with 2nd and 3rd degree burns, neither my sister of myself was contacted about flowers for our mother. Mom was treated quickly by the Hoboken EMT’s and taken to HUMC where she was intubated and transferred to St. Barnabas in Livingston whereupon her physicians advised that she would not survive more than 5 days because of the extent of her injuries.

When news of my mother’s accident became known there were rumors throughout the Board of Education where my sister is a teacher and HUMC where I was formerly employed that our mother passed away on Wednesday, she passed away on Saturday. We did receive numerous e-mails or phone calls, we received encouragement from our closest friends and relatives.

Our grief is deep and our only consolation is that she is resting in peace with our beloved father, where she wanted to be.

Our mother was a loving, caring, optimistic woman who loved all people regardless of race or creed. She loved deeply and was always ready to lend a helping hand.

We are eternally grateful to the HFD, the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corp and the staff of HUMC.

Barbara Rotondi


The woman’s name is Jean Singalese. Not sure if I have that spelling right. I heard this news from a friend in Florida before it hit the papers here. Her daughter sent an e-mail asking for no flowers, no visitors, just good thoughts and wishes that her pain will be eased. The handyman who pulled her out of the fire was Felix. That’s as much as I know except to say she is in very, very critical condition but does have family who loves her and is taking care of her. She is a very loved woman, with always a smile on her face.

Tama Murden

Surely hope there’s more specific coverage, either here or “mainstream media,” as to the victim & circumstances.

I know so many great senior folks in this complex. I hear it’s mostly dismally maintained, but the initial coverage indicates something awry w/in the fire-victim’s home, versus the fire resulting from the generally-reported bad maintenance.

When it’s released, can 411 please post the name of the resident? If nothing else, it could enable the community to offer help, if wanted/needed….

A number of residents at Fox Hill reportedly reside there, b/c they were burned out of their previous homes (the New Year’s Jackson St. fire; the 11th & Bloomfield fire). I can only imagine, for them in particular, it’s hard to deal with another fire.


Just FYI PD was not first on the scene, Ladder Company 121 was. There was no smoke showing upon arrival (the windows were not yet vented). There was no screaming upon arrival(the victim was down). Hook and Ladder 121 found the victim and then removed her.
The Maintenance worker who helped the FD should be very PROUD of himself. Without his help the victim would have suffered more.