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House Fire Kills Three People in Poughkeepsie

Three people were killed Jan. 21 in fire that raged through a home at 112 Fairview Ave. in the Town of Poughkeepsie, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.

Two of the people killed in the fire were Marist College students and roommates, Eva Block from Woodbridge and Kerry Fitzsimons of Commack, Long Island. Kevin Johnson, 20, from New Canaan, Connecticut also died in the fire.

Block, 21, was a senior studying fashion design. She was an honor student who loved reading and was very sociable, according to Philip Greenberg, a friend of Block’s mother.

“Her drawings were remarkable. She had some great ideas,” Greenberg said of Block.

Block is survived by her father and mother, Jeffrey Block and Barbara Stark Block, and siblings Hannah and Harrison Block.

Block and Fitzsimmons were roommates. Another roommate’s father, Joe Petrini, said “they were sweet girls.” His daughter Hailey Petrini was not home at the time of the fire.

Fitzsimons’ uncle said she had everything ahead of her. “She was just a beautiful, wonderful young lady.”

A high school classmate of Fitzsimons, Kay Leydon, 21, said Fitzsimons was interested in marine science. She said the two of them would dress in waders to observe marine life in a pool of water near the Poughkeepsie Train Station.

“She was one of those girls that you know she was just going to go places,” Leydon said.

Another Fitzsimons’ friend and former roommate, Ashley Corriss, called Fitzsimons “the most free-spirited person. She never got mad, ever.”

Katherine Bilsky, a senior who was friends with all of the victims, said Johnson was “really funny.”

I’ve known Kevin since my freshman year,” she said. “He always made us laugh. He loved to talk and debate. He was just starting to get in touch with himself artistically. He was exploring photography.”

Four other students escaped from the blazing house by jumping out of windows.

Firefighters continue to investigate the cause of the fire, but say they believe it began in the back of the home, trapping the three people inside.


If someone you love is killed in a fire, you can seek legal assistance by contacting the Connecticut wrongful death lawyers at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC.