7 year old girl dies in Niagara Falls house fire

Posted at 11:56 AM, Aug 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 10:43:59-04

A seven-year-old girl died during a house fire on South Avenue in Niagara Falls early Saturday morning. The girl was one of 12 children and 2 grandchildren.

A neighbor who lives across the street said she was helping the family when they realized one of their children was missing. 

"They thought I had her but I didn't," Gwen Riley, their neighbor said, "I only had like four of the others. I didn't have the baby." 

According to Riley it took the Niagara Falls Fire Department almost ten minutes to arrive at the fire. 

"The Police were running back and forth asking what was taking the Fire Department so long."

By the time the family realized the child was still in the house. It was too late as the fire was advancing. 

"By the time they (the Niagara Falls Fire Department) got here, the middle of the house was on fire and then the next thing you know the whole back end engulfed."

Two volunteers from the American Red Cross were on the scene for emergency assistance. 

"We're going to provide funding for temporary housing, food, and clothing to help (them) get back on (their) feet a little bit" Red Cross Chief Communications Officer Jay Bonafede said. 

The Red Cross will also be offering the family access to mental health volunteers as they cope with the tragedy.

The Niagara Falls Police Department is currently investigating the scene as the cause of the fire is unknown.