BRIDGEPORT, CT - Connecticut authorities are investigating an early morning fire that left a three year old dead and several others injured – and police say the condo had no working smoke detectors.
Six people were in a condo in Bridgeport, Connecticut early Sunday morning when a kitchen fire started to spread.
Five of them were out as firefighters rushed to the scene on Frenchtown road.
Neighbor Biana Ayala said, "The ladies just kept screaming get the baby, get the baby."
Firefighters say as one team began fighting the fire raging on the first floor, a ladder company broke through a second story window -- knowing 3-year-old Sincere Pettway was still inside.
They found her under a crib and brought her outside, but couldn't revive the little girl.
Family members say her mother Shaneese Pettway sustained burns trying to get her child out.
Assistant Chief Richard Thode with Bridgeport Fire Department said, "The fire was right inside the front door almost blocking the front stairs so without protective equipment a civilian would not have made it past that front door."
As the commotion continued outside, Ayala took the other children who escaped the fire inside her condo to keep them warm.
"Little girl she didn't have pants on so I grabbed sweats and gave it to her the baby was crawling on the floor they couldn't hold her because her hands were burned,” Ayala said.
Firefighters say the two adults and three children who survived the fire were taken to the hospital, all for treatment of smoke inhalation, some with burns.
The condo didn't have working smoke alarms.
Assistant Chief John Macnicholl said, "It`s the difference between early warning, escaping a serious situation like that and not escaping."
Sincere's death is already touching the hearts of many locals.
Arlene Mercer, a Bridgeport resident, said, "I've known the family for many years and I wanted to bring the teddy bear and the rose to show them my love."
Remembering a smiling little girl and thinking of her family as they come to terms with this unexpected and tragic loss.
"She's so beautiful, a beautiful family,” Mercer said.