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Child dies in Bronx fire

Posted at 1:31 PM, Mar 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-17 21:10:30-04

BRONX, NEW YORK (PIX11)- Hugs for a heartbroken grandfather, who just lost his grandchild, and is praying he doesn’t lose a second, to the raging fire that engulfed their family’s fourth floor apartment in the Bronx.

“Very sad very sad just to walk out and see the kids on the stretcher, sad,” said neighbor Barbara Walton.

The sisters; 7-year-old Hazel and 3-year-old Haley were pulled unconscious and taken to Lincoln Hospital.  But Hazel couldn’t be saved.

Firefighters arrived a couple of minutes after getting the call at 3:10 this morning.

They had the fire under control in just over a half hour.

The flames and thick smoke forced tenants out of the grant avenue building.

“When you hear glass breaking screaming and you open your door and you see flames all you do is run back in grab your clothes and get out,” said neighbor Lorenzo Blakeney.

All day investigators from the NYPD’s crime scene unit and arson squad, along with fire marshals were searching for clues to the cause of the killer fire.

They were in and out of the victim’s apartment where the sisters lived with three other siblings, their dad and two women, both believed to be the children’s biological mothers.

Neighbor Lorenzo knew the victim and the family, “I used to see the little kids in the morning I feel so bad for them my heart goes out to them.”

Anita Harris who was also burned out of her home, lives directly above the family.

She called little hazel a beautiful child, “She was in my granddaughter’s class last year and she always said hi Mckayla’s grandmother! I hear in my head this morning her saying that.”

Critically injured Haley was later taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The girls grieving grandfather had two words to describe what they will always mean to him, the world.