Parents React To Community Support After Losing Baby In Fire

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 30, 2010 at 5:31 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 30, 2010 at 5:31 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) Patricia Heitman grieving over the loss of her one-year-old daughter Nova Bella in a house fire Thursday morning, "Depressed sad, wish it could've been me. At least I would know my kids would've been taken care of especially seeing how hard I worked to have all three of my children."

Patricia had several miscarriages before having her three girls..

"I always called them my little angels because they were so hard to have," Patricia remembers.

The fire happened just after 10 o'clock Thursday morning. Patricia, her husband Daniel and their three-year-old daughter Savannah were all in the front yard. Their 7-year old daughter Sky was at school. Nova Bella was asleep inside the home. Family and friends tried desperately to rescue her but heavy smoke kept them back. Firefighters pulled the baby out of the blaze but she later died at the hospital.

Thursday, an entire congregation at True Bethel Baptist Church pledging their support for the family they didn't even know.

"We knew the family because they're human beings and that's how we knew them. We just believe that every human alive that is on this earth is our brother and our sister," said pastor Darius Pridgen.

Pastor Pridgen promising to raise at least $1,000 in 10 minutes for the Heitman family. Church member Constance Banks contributed to the fund, "It's touching, it's moving...I'm emotional. That's what church is all about."

And for a family who lost everything in an instant, they say the community support is all they have now.

"If it wasn't for my neighborhood, my friends, my family, the only way keeps me going, and even some strangers out of the woodwork I don't even know... always help," said Daniel Heitman the victim's father.

The family says they'll stay at a hotel tonight provided by the local Red Cross.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do that by sending your donation to:'

NOVA HEITMAN FUND
c/o
TRUE BETHEL CHURCH
907 E. FERRY
BUFFALO, N.Y. 14211