Vigil Held for Mother and Daughter Killed in Hartford Fire

By Ilana Gold
|  Thursday, Jan 30, 2014  |  Updated 11:18 PM EDT
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Dozens mourned the loss of a four year old and her mother after a fire Tuesday.

Ilana Gold and Thomas Kienzler

Dozens mourned the loss of a four year old and her mother after a fire Tuesday.

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A candlelight vigil was held Thursday night for a mother and daughter killed in a deadly house fire in Hartford on Tuesday.

Family and friends gathered together in the city’s North End to remember 4- year- old Shantay Drake and her mother Susan Therrian.

“Somehow I still don’t believe it I still can’t believe it,” said the child’s grandmother Jeanette Blackman.  She was devastated over the loss.  “That little smiling face…she was smiling all the time,” Blackman explained.

On Tuesday morning, Shantay Drake was trapped in her home on Bedford Street as it went up in flames.  The fire was so intense, rescue crews could not get to her.

“The whole place was engulfed we want answers,” said the girl’s uncle Richard Drake.

Her mother, who had stage 4 cancer made it out with severe burns, but died at the hospital Wednesday night.

“Susan was an excellent mother she worked hard for her girls she would do anything for them,” Richard Drake added.

Shantay Drake went to Milner Elementary School, and her mother spent quite a bit of time here.  The situation was tough on students and parents.

“It's hard it's really hard,” explained Melody Morales.  Her daughter was Drake’s classmate and best friend.  She has had a difficult time explaining what happened. “I tell her she’s in heaven she’s an angel now,” Morales said.

The grieving family and friends spent their Thursday night finding strength in each other.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and firefighters, who were at the scene that day, also attended the vigil to show some support.

For some, moving forward after the tragedy could be a big challenge. “Our loved ones are dead that’s what we know,” said Richard Drake.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation.  Shantay Drake’s 6 year old sister, Kayla Drake,   made it out of the fire safely, and she is now living with family.

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