PRINCETON — A 73-year-old woman died in her apartment Wednesday night in a fire that forced 35 of her neighbors out of their homes.

Police say the fire was reported 9:07 p.m. at a 24-unit development at 21 Billie Ellis Lane.

Authorities say Larisa Bartone was found dead in her apartment.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Residents of the building were being helped Thursday by the American Red Cross and Princeton Human Services.

Meanwhile, another fire was reported Thursday morning in Parsippany. Authorities say the fire at the Westgate Gardens apartments on Parsippany Road was caused by a candle that resident had left unattended after they left home.

There were no injuries and neighbor were allowed to return home. The residents of the destroyed apartment were making their own living arrangements, police said.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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