FALL RIVER -- A 4-year-old girl was killed early this morning when a fire swept through a home in Fall River. Three firefighters were also injured, including one who narrowly escaped after being trapped in the blaze, fire officials said.
The fire was reported in a three-family home on Tecumseh Street at 3:49 a.m., said Fire Captain Maurice Reney. Heavy smoke and flames were showing from the house when firefighters arrived.
Kayara Graham Golden, 4, was taken to St. Anne’s Hospital with burns and smoke inhalation and was pronounced dead upon arrival, said Deputy Fire Chief William Silvia. The child’s mother, Denisha Golden, 23, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said this afternoon that she was in serious condition.
Cecilia Teixeira, 58, who lives across the street, said she first saw the fire at about 3:15 a.m. A woman outside the house was screaming that her baby was still inside, Teixeira recalled.
The first person to try to rescue the child was a police officer, who smashed a front window on the first floor and climbed in. A couple of minutes later, he emerged and passed out in front of the house. Firefighters then entered, she said.
"They all worked fast. They did what they could," she said of police and firefighters.
Silvia said firefighters arriving on the scene were told that there was a little girl in the house and immediately entered.
"That was the No. 1 priority: to get into there," he said.
Three firefighters were treated and released today for injuries, including cuts and burns. Police Officer Adam Talbot was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and was not taken to a hospital, he said.
Fire Chief Paul Ford said Acting Lieutenant Steven Cateon located the girl on the first floor. Cateon and another firefighter brought her outside, where paramedics performed CPR. Cateon returned inside and became trapped on the third floor. He signaled with his flashlight that he was trapped, so other firefighters put a ladder against the house, and he escaped that way.
Cateon, who was treated for second-degree burns to his hands, was "one minute away from dying," said Ford.
None of the firefighters planned to speak to reporters. “I think they’re pretty shook up," Ford said.
Silvia said the fire started in the kitchen on the first floor, but the cause was still under investigation.
District Fire Chief Michael Clark said the house is a total loss, estimating damage at about $300,000. Workers began leveling the house with an excavator this afternoon.
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