Child Playing With Matches Causes Fatal Brooklyn Blaze

NY 1 - December 25, 2010

Family is mourning the loss of a baby girl killed Thursday in a fast-moving Brooklyn fire that was believed to be started by another child playing with matches.

Firefighters arrived on the scene of the fire on Greene Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant just before 1:30 p.m.

They were able to rescue four-month-old Aniyah Vaughan, but she died at the hospital.

"On arrival we had heavy fire conditions in the rear,” said FDNY Deputy Chief Vincent Mandela. “There's two rooms in the rear and apparently the fire was started on the left room and came down the hall. We found the victim in the right-hand room in a bed along the wall, which was blocking the doorway. It was a tremendous push to get in there. We had our guys, the ladders who do the rescues. We went in through the front of the building, we tried to make our way, but there was heavy fire, heavy smoke which thwarted their attempts."

Friends and relatives are still trying to come to grips with her death.

"What happened was when the fire happened, they were cooking Christmas dinner," said Vaughan's grandmother Nikita Bowen. "So, it wasn't an abandoned house. It wasn't a family that wasn't taking care of their children. It was none of that." Several other children living in the five-bedroom duplex got out of the house without injury.

Officials say the home had a smoke detector, but it was not working.

Fire officials are urging New Yorkers to check their smoke detectors and talk to their children about the dangers of playing with fire.