An 18-month-old girl was killed and another baby girl was critically injured in an apartment fire late Sunday night in the Spring Hill section of Pittsburgh.
The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said the baby girl, Nina Risher, was pronounced dead at 12:27 a.m. at UPMC Mercy. An autopsy is planned for today.
Nina’s sister, also a baby, was taken to UPMC Mercy in critical condition.
The fire was reported at 11:41 p.m. at the Three Rivers Manor apartment building in the 2100 block of Rhine Street, authorities said.
Seven adults also were injured, including one who was in serious condition.
“My granddaughter died,” said Carl Jordan, 52, as he surveyed the damage this morning.
Mr. Jordan said he had little knowledge of what happened in the apartment where his 23-year-old daughter and Nina’s mother, Racquel Jordan, lived with her boyfriend and two children.
Officials said the fire was confined to the couple’s first-floor apartment but all 18 units in the three-story building sustained damage.
Taking a moment to be alone, Mr. Jordan got on his hands and knees and prayed in front of a smashed ground-level window, where his relatives tried to escape to safety. The window, like all of the other first-floor windows in Three Rivers Manor, was covered with metal bars, making the apartment harder to escape.
Sean Taylor, 24, who lives in a neighboring building, said the rescue effort was challenging even though it seemed as though the entire neighborhood was outside trying to free the family from the flames.
“I saw them hitting the window,” Mr. Taylor said. “They couldn’t even get the cage off.”
Neighbors said that heavy smoke made it impossible for the family to flee through the front door.
The apartment was heavily damaged floor to ceiling. A couch and armchair in the living room were charred. A white highchair was black around the edges.
“You can see the flames came from her apartment really heavy,” Mr. Jordan said.
Across the street, residents left candles, stuffed animals and balloons in a makeshift memorial.
Many neighbors were outside watching in disbelief as officials were investigating the cause of the fire around 10 a.m.
A man was taken to UPMC Mercy in serious condition. Six others were taken to Allegheny General Hospital after suffering minor injuries from smoke inhalation.
The Red Cross was helping eight adults and three children with housing, food and clothing.
This article was written by Andrew Goldstein from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.