NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) – A seven-year-old girl is dead after heroic efforts were made to rescue her from a fire in Norwalk Saturday.
Fire crews said it happened on Nelson Avenue near East Avenue around 5:00 a.m.
Amber Rogers lives next door and woke up to what sounded like gunshots. She soon realized it was a fire at her neighbor’s house.
“I literally ran to the window, and it looked like the sun was coming up, but even before I got to the window I could feel the heat,” Rogers said.
She and her husband raced out of their home, when they suddenly heard the dad crying for help.
“All I could hear was the father yelling that, ‘my daughter’s in the house, my daughter’s in the house!’” Rogers said.
The dad tried to climb to his daughter’s window, but fell, broke his arm, and was burned by the flames.
First responders were quick to arrive and found heavy fire on the front of the house, a burning power line across the street and two cars burning in the driveway. They saw the dad, mom, and their nine-year-old son in the backyard.
Immediately, a firefighter got on a ladder and rescued the girl from the burning building. She was transported to the hospital, where she died from her injuries.
“First it was a fire and we thought everybody was going to be okay, that’s one thing, but to know that his daughter passed away is like, makes it so much more tragic,” Rogers said.
Rogers and the rest of the community, including Salman Vahora, are shaken.
“There’s really nothing you could do, you just feel helpless. I wish I could do everything that I could to help but what could I really do?” Vahora said.
Both have memories of the young girl.
“I used to like look out my window while I was working and I would see her running into our backyard, and I used to be like, ‘what is she doing?’ and then I saw that she’d run over to our little playset,” Vahora said.
“She was really sweet. She had like this, this beautiful round face and this beautiful blonde hair and big eyes and just was always chasing after her brother,” Rogers said.
The community is close, and with some time, they will come together to do all they can to support the family.
“Losing a child is I just don’t understand how anyone can go through that,” Rogers said.
The family is recovering from smoke inhalation and minor burns. A firefighter was also treated for minor burns to his face.
Norwalk Public Schools released the following statement about the fire:
Norwalk suffered the tragic loss of a child overnight following a devastating fire in the city. Our hearts go out to family and friends impacted by this awful tragedy. The superintendent has activated our network of school counselors and other staff members, and NPS stands ready to provide support to all who need it when school resumes on Monday.
The City of Norwalk also released a statement:
The City sends its deep condolences to the Norwalk family who tragically lost their child early this morning in a terrible house fire. City, Community and Norwalk Public School leaders are working to make sure that the family and all those grieving have the support they need during this time and in the weeks and months ahead. The City thanks the Superintendent for activating our network of school counselors and other staff members to meet the potential need of students impacted by this news ahead of school on Monday. The City also thanks the Norwalk Fire Department for arriving on the scene minutes after receiving the call and Norwalk Emergency Management for directly supporting the family.
A cause remains under investigation.