A lithium battery from her sibling’s new electric scooter caused the fire that killed an 8-year-old girl in Queens, firefighters and neighbors said on Sunday – as residents recalled the desperate futile effort to save the child.
“The fireman got the girl out first. He was carrying her in his arms,” said resident Daniel Calle, 27. “She looked like she was sleeping.
“They worked diligently on her. They pumped their breasts. … But she didn’t move.”
Shocked resident Dora Dellis, 72, added: “There were about six or seven people around her.
“That [landlord’s wife] cried.”
She said, “I don’t care about the house. I don’t want the girl to die,” the witness said.
Firefighters said a scooter started the fire, and the landlord added that the electrical equipment was recently purchased by the family for one of the teenage little girl’s brothers.
“They just bought the stupid thing,” said the landlord about the scooter. “I think they got it a month, a month and a half ago. The bike is usually there. [The girl’s dad] told me it was for his son but he uses it too.”
The dead girl, identified as Stephanie Villa Torres, suffered smoke inhalation and was pronounced dead at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital of Queens, authorities said.
The building’s landlord described her as a “quiet little girl. Very pretty, very sweet.
“She was very shy at first,” he said of the victim once the family moved in. “She tried to hide.
“After that she was very cute. She would say hello. The last time I saw him was the day before, right here,” he said as he stood on his doorstep.
“She came in with her mother. I said, ‘Hi Stephanie, how are you?’ She said ‘hello’ back. She was always a happy, sweet girl.”
The fire broke out just after 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the apartment building on 130th Street in College Point, officials said.
Two others, believed to be Stephanie’s father and brother, have been listed in stable condition at Jacobi Hospital Medical Center.
Officials from the city fire brigade and the building authority were on site on Sunday.
“I mean, that’s a kid,” said Debbie, another neighbor. “I have grandkids that age, so you know, it’s just a shame.
“These batteries, they have to do something about these batteries because they’re losing too many lives,” she added.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/18/scooter-battery-blamed-for-queens-blaze-that-killed-8-year-old-girl/ Scooter battery blamed for Queens fire that killed 8-year-old girl