Today’s news:

Floral Park teacher killed in blaze at her apartment

Mary Nuccio, who lived in the second-floor apartment at 84-04 266th St., was found dead on her couch in a blaze that started at about 3:19 p.m.,...

By Alexander Dworkowitz

A 54-year-old schoolteacher died in a Sunday afternoon fire at her Floral Park apartment, authorities said.

Mary Nuccio, who lived in the second-floor apartment at 84-04 266th St., was found dead on her couch in a blaze that started at about 3:19 p.m., authorities said.

Sixty firefighters from 12 units battled the fire at the two-story brick building until it was brought under control shortly before 4 p.m., said Fire Department spokesman David Billig.

A firefighter also suffered minor injuries in the blaze, said EMS Lt. Brian Strizak.

Fire officials were still investigating the cause of the fire as of press time.

Nuccio lived just above an Allstate Insurance office on a stretch of Hillside Avenue just two blocks from the Nassau County border.

Firefighters blocked off traffic on the busy street as they put out the flames. Once the fire was under control, the charred remains of Nuccio’s apartment, which included books, furniture and clothing, were emptied out onto the street as neighbors watched with concern.

“She was a wonderful teacher,” said Eva Day, who came to the scene of the fire and had met Nuccio while working at PS 199 in Sunnyside years ago. “The kids loved her. She would do anything for you.”

Nuccio had recommended an apartment in her building to Day, and the two lived as neighbors for several years before Day moved away.

“She loved singing, she loved Broadway,” Day said. “She was just a very social person.”

Day said Nuccio was unmarried and had no children.

Nuccio died of smoke inhalation and third-degree burns to over 75 percent of her body, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner.

The medical examiner’s office ruled the manner of death an accident.

The fire also damaged the neighboring apartment of Surinder Singh Mann, said his brother Amarjit Singh Bath. Mann hoped to return to his apartment this week, Bath said.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300 Ext. 141.

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