Autopsy may answer whether power outage led to woman’s death

Posted: Updated:
EAST NEW YORK -

Residents of the Spring Creek Towers want to know if a Sunday power outage there played a role in the death of one of their neighbors.

Relatives of 57-year-old Elizabeth Ramos say she used a respirator to breathe at night, and the power outage could have shut it down.

The Brooksville real estate firm bought the towers in May and promised it would correct a number of issues that residents complained of under the old management. Among those were frequent power outages, especially during the summer. To address that issue, the company ordered a $40 million overhaul of its power plant that includes permanent backup generators — but work won't start until September.

Last year after a series of outages, Ramos herself told News 12 that the blackouts worried her.

"We're in New York City," said Dustin Jones, a friend of Ramos. "A power outage is literally the reason why you lost your life? It's unacceptable."

But the FDNY says she may have died before the Sunday incident, which took place around 5 a.m. and affected 60 buildings. Power has since been restored.

The results of an autopsy are not yet available. Family members say it will determine Ramos' exact cause of death.

Samara Hill, another friend, said the respirator was so important to Ramos that she kept three of them in case one malfunctioned.

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