Baby Dies In Buffalo House Fire

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 30, 2010 at 9:04 AM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 30, 2010 at 9:04 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- It was an emotional morning on the 100 block of Shepard Street near Broadway, just after 10am Thursday. A fire started in a house where a family of five lives. Neighbors say the parents Dan and Patty Heitman were home with two of the children and were out in the front yard at times, working on their cars with friends. One year old Nova was reportedly inside napping when the parents noticed smoke coming from the house. "The mom and dad screamed that the baby is in the house," neighbor Loretta Lermineau said. "There was a bunch of neighbors... we started breaking windows and trying to get in and get the baby. I was halfway into the house trying to get the baby and I couldn't, {the smoke} kept pushing me back."

Firefighters arrived soon after and made it into the house, grabbing the one year old from her first floor bedroom. She was unconscious. "Eventually we found the child in the side bedroom which would be the north side middle bedroom," Division Fire Chief Don McFeely said.

"Smoke all over her face, then they covered her up and put her on the stretcher and carried her out," one witness said.

The baby was taken to Erie County Medical Center, but didn't survive. "It's a one year old child we tried to get out of that house," Lermineau said. "I know the family very well and they're good people and they try to help everybody so we tried to help them in exchange and we couldn't."

Now loved ones and friends are flooding Facebook with thoughts and prayers for the family. Meantime, investigators continue to look for a cause. "Taking apart the scene to determine what caused the fire," Buffalo Fire Marshal Brian Martinez said. "We are in the process of eliminating all kinds of stuff right now."

Neighbors say at the time of the fire the other two children were outside the home. The three year old was in the front yard and the seven year old was at school.