NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - One of the children inside the South Avenue fire in Niagara Falls over the weekend saved a number of his 11 brothers and sisters by waking them up when he realized the house was on fire. Niagara Falls Fire officials released new information about the fire that killed a 7-year-old girl Monday morning. They say the family initially believed everyone was out safely.
In a press release put out Monday, the department outlined how firefighters responded to the fire on South Avenue around 11:18 p.m. Friday, August 18th. When crews arrived at the two-story home, they say there was heavy fire on the first floor, and smoke and heat already extending to the second floor.
The fire department says the 11 children were inside the home at the time the fire started, and that the parents, Luvone and Crystal Lucas came home to find their children running from the home. The parents called the fire department, and told responding crews that everyone was out of the home. By the time family and police realized one of the children was still inside the house, it was too late to reach her. Fire crews later found the body of the 7-year-old Hannah Lucas in one of the second floor bedrooms. Her family was notified, and grief counselors and the Red Cross were called in to help.
Fire crews say one of the children woke up to see the fire, and ran throughout the home to wake up his siblings and get them out of the house. He's credited with saving a number of his siblings.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but fire crews have determined the fire started in the kitchen. The home did have working smoke detectors.