NY Post - December 25, 2010by DOUG AUER
A Brooklyn mother's Christmas has been shattered with the death of her 4-month-old daughter in a fast-moving fire started by kids playing with a lighter.
Felicia Vaughan, 25, and her surviving five children will be spending the holiday huddled in a hotel room mourning the tragic loss of little Aniyah Vaughan.
"She's holding on," said Nikita Bowen, Vaughan's best friend and Aniyah's godmother. "There are no plans. We're just trying to spend it with each other. There are no plans, no gifts."
Aniyah was napping on a mattress and became trapped when an inferno broke out in an adjacent room, then ripped through her house on Greene Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant Thursday. She was plucked from the blaze by a firefighter but later died.
Bowen, 23, said it was hard to come to grips with the sense of sorrow that has consumed the family when laughter filled the home earlier in the week.
Bowen, who shares her middle name, Lauren, with Aniyah, choked up as she recalled visiting Tuesday and snapping a photo of her goddaughter.
"I was just playing with her and just decided to take a picture of her," she said.
The fire was set by one of the eight other children in the home, Aniyah's five siblings and three cousins, playing with a lighter, sources said.
Fire marshals also found a smoke detector with no battery in the downstairs area, sources said.
Yesterday, two Community Affairs cops dropped off gifts
purchased with donations that had been pooled from the NYPD and FDNY, Bowen said.
Additional reporting by Frank Rosario