WILMINGTON- WTXF -
A three year old girl and her little sister, just three months old, were killed yesterday when their home went up in flames in Wilmington.
As investigators work to find the cause of the fire, We're hearing from the father of the girls. He spoke to FOX 29 about his devastating loss.
Learning more about a fire that claimed the life of two young children.
Unspeakable tragedy for a family of ten.Investigators are looking for cause, as they do we're hearing from the father of the girls
This is what a father’s anguish looks like. And if you never see anything like it again, consider yourself lucky.
Mark Carroway left his home Tuesday afternoon to pick up several of his children.
“If I could take back the word, ‘I’ll be right back…”
He returned to find his family’s apartment on the 400 block of North Monroe engulfed in flames surrounded by firefighters. Two of his daughters- three-year-old Elizabeth and three-month-old Zipporah, were gone.
“My promise for my children, is that I love God and that I’ll always protect them,” Carroway said.
Investigators say the fire began on the first floor, at the front of the apartment, and their records show neighbors were slow to call 911. But we do know there were those who stepped forward. Reggie Carter helped Carroway’s wife Christina and their two-year-old daughter escape out the front door.
“After we extracted them, opened up that door, it was like a cannon. All of a sudden, the windows burst, and everything just went. Just flames and smoke everywhere,” Carter said. “There was nothing that could be done.”
Aaron McManus tried to make a rescue through the back of the apartment, but was driven away by smoke and flames.
“I just couldn’t get to them,” McManus said. “I didn’t really go to sleep, me and my cousins sat up until 4:30 in the morning, like just thinking about it.”
And on the day after, a memorial grew at the front steps of the charred home. As a grieving father, a local preacher who lost his own mother to fire 20 years ago, it allowed the enormity of the tragedy to sink in.
“Sometimes you need to stop a moment. Take a breath. Get to rest. Keep it moving. There is a God.”
Tonight after a vigil outside the home, a moving memorial service was held at City Of Victory Church. People showed up with bags of clothing and items for the family who lost everything. 17-year-old D'Angela Gilbert-Russo is the oldest of the families 8 children.
"I need to be strong for them because the other 2 are gone and I know they have their wings. I know they're in a better place now. It's really hard. I just have to stay strong for everybody," she said.
If you wish to help the family, please contact D'Angela Gilbert-Russo on Facebook.