Hartford Fire Claims Life of Mother and Child

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014  |  Updated 1:56 PM EDT
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A 4-year-old girl has died after her apartment building caught fire in Hartford.

A 4-year-old girl has died after her apartment building caught fire in Hartford.

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A fire on Bedford Street in Hartford on Tuesday morning has taken the life of 4-year-old Shantay Drake and now her other, 43-year-old Susan Therrien.

Therrien was in critical condition in the Bridgeport Hospital Burn Unit, but died on Wednesday night, according to fire officials.

The fatal fire broke out on the first floor of the multi-family home at 62-64 Bedford Street just after 5:30 a.m. and crews from the Hartford Police Major Crimes Unit rushed to the scene.

Therrien suffered burns to her face, back and arms, officials said.

Officials said a firefighter pulled bars off the kitchen window to pull her out.

Drake died of smoke inhalation, according to Hartford Fire Chief James McLoughlin. Another child, 6-year-old Kayla Drake, was treated and released from the hospital.

Officials said three families lived in the home and the Red Cross has been assisting eight adults and two children from three families.

Firefighters said there were smoke detectors in the building, but it is not clear where they were located.

On the morning of the fire, neighbors said there were a couple of rescues from the house, but police were concerned that a 4-year-old child might still be trapped inside the home.

Lashawn Times said the girl was her cousin.

"Just a sad tragedy," Times said. "She's a smart, intelligent little girl. ... It's hard. It's hard. It's real hard."

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra also issued a statement: 

“We are sincerely saddened by this horrific tragedy. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and the families that have been impacted by this terrible loss. I have instructed our Health Director to provide any support necessary as we monitor the situation over the next several days. Any time a child is lost in our community it affects every single one of us. ”

An ambulance also transported a woman from the scene after she collapsed and one police officer injured his knee in the fire. He is expected to be OK.

Bedford Street and Albany Avenue were closed as crews investigate and a warming bus is at the scene for emergency crews and tenants.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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