Tragedy as girl killed in NYC house fire

‘We saw the window break, then we saw the flames coming through the window right on the second floor,’ area resident says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Sunday 05 November 2023 20:46 GMT
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Neighbours react to disabled teen killed in Bronx house fire

Tragedy struck in New York City when a house fire broke out in the Bronx, killing a young girl.

The fire began at around 4.30pm on Saturday on Boyd Avenue, with firefighters later finding the girl dead inside. A boy, 7, was transported to hospital in a stable condition and a man, 47, declined medical care, according to WABC.

Neighbour Les Padgett told the local CBS outlet that he attempted to enter the home.

“I just run down here to try to see what I could do, but it was too much smoke, so there was not much I could do. The fire department came fast,” he told the outlet.

“I said it’s got to be that house and it has to be that child. Because I know the two kids, the boy was good, and the girl was disabled,” fellow neighbour Nalini Gocool told CBS.

The New York Post identified the girl as Skylar Michilin, reporting that she was just about to turn 14 – a number of other local outlets reported her as being 12 years old.

Skylar was sleeping on the second floor at the time of the fire shortly after 4.15pm.

Skylar had Down’s syndrome and was nonverbal and used a wheelchair when she attended school, according to the Post.

Resident Erdene Kims, 21, told the paper: “I saw the flames. There were two of us outside — another lady said she called the fire department already — I yelled, ‘Fire, we need people to help’.”

“A couple of people came in — tried to go in with their phones — but they couldn’t get to her,” Kims said. “We saw the window break, then we saw the flames coming through the window right on the second floor and all you could have done is say, ‘Lord Jesus we need you.’”

The fire was under control within 45 minutes, at around 5pm.

“I spoke to her around lunch and I fed her changed her and I gave her lunch — she loves McDonald’s French fries. She was on the bed when I left around 12,” mother Rosemarie Thompson told the Post. “We were having a big day for her tomorrow. She was on her iPad. She loved movies, she loved Bart Baker, she loved Christmas songs. Every September she starts to listen to them. Mariah Carey was her favourite time. Her iPad was her friend.

“She gave the biggest hugs.”

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