The Easter weekend turned tragic for a family after a four-month-old little girl died in a mobile home fire in Lackawanna County.
The Lackawanna County coroner said four-month-old Cindy Williams died from breathing in too much smoke after fire broke out at a home in the Hillside Mobile Home Park in Madisonville.
Neighbors said a man who lived in the house tried to save the little girl, who was in a back bedroom.
“John tried to, said he tried to get the baby, crawling in and he couldn`t and that`s something that`s going to stick with him for the rest of his life,” said neighbor Darlene Curtis. “If John would have tried to stay in there any longer, he would have been gone too and I know he feels bad, but he did all he could do.”
State police fire marshals were at the scene looking for what may have started the flames just after 9 a.m. Saturday.
Madisonville Fire Chief Kevin Emerson was the first to arrive, but said there was not much that could be done.
Fire officials said eight people were home at the time, including several children, ranging from four months to about five-years-old, who had to be taken to the hospital.
“Thank God all of the other babies got out of that house and are okay,” added Curtis. “I saw the smoke, and that smoke was just, it was flaring up high. When you saw it, you know there`s no way to get anything else out.”
The Madisonville fire chief said the infant’s death was the first fire-related death the company has dealt with in 57 years. As devastating as the loss of a child is for the family, it is also tough for emergency responders.
“Prayers go out to them too, because they`re going to go home to their families and this sticks with them, to have to carry out a baby,” said Curtis.
The family has lived in the home for about four years.
Ralph Mele owns the mobile home park and said it is a tragedy for everyone.
“The Red Cross has offered counseling classes and we`re going to get together as a community and try to meet with the Red Cross and hopefully we`ll all get through this,” said Ralph Mele.
“God bless the family and I hope everybody prays for them and helps with whatever they can, because they`re going to need it,” added Curtis.
State police fire marshals continue to look for what caused the fire.
Grief counselors will be available for emergency responders at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Madisonville fire company.