Family, neighbors mourn loss of girl killed in fire

February 17, 2013 6:02:27 PM PST
22 people were left homeless and a young life was lost after an apartment fire on Treasure Island. The 10-year-old girl who died is being remembered during a Sunday night vigil.

The fire is having a tremendous impact on everyone living there. It's been heartbreaking for those mourning the loss of 10-year-old Corlina Godfrey. Stuffed animals, balloons, and flowers have been left in front of the charred remains of 1223C on Mariner Drive.

Neighbor Norma Ruiz had her 7-year-old Eli bring one of his toys to add to the memorial, "To let the family and people know that we're thinking of them and that they're in our prayers," she said.

Cell phone video taken by a passerby about 12:30 a.m. Saturday shows the fast moving fire. Corlina died after being trapped on the second floor as the blaze quickly devoured the entire structure. Four other family members escaped unharmed. All six units have now been condemned due to the damage.

Jeffrey Chambers lives a few doors down and tried to reach the girl by running into the burning home. He's says he's heartbroken he failed, "But I could not save the last child and that's killing me," he said. "It's been killing me for two days. I can't sleep at night because I was that close and yet so far."

Chambers now has a bandage covering the burns that made him turn back before reaching Corlina. He returned to gather what he needs for the next few days.

So did Angelica Hall and her three children. She and the other six families who lived in these units are now being housed by the Red Cross and given what they'll need until they find another place to live here on the island. She's says she's overwhelmed.

"It's really hard because for clothes and stuff like that and, um, going to work and the kids go back to school and we don't know what, and just transportation, and it's just everything," Hall said.

Firefighters tell us the fire was not of suspicious origin. They'll have a full report on the probable cause of the fire on Tuesday, also how or why the 10-year-old was trapped on the second floor.


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