Two cops carried a three-foot-high dresser out of the building at 15 Henry Street in Hartford, where police responded to a report of a child not breathing Friday afternoon.
The girl, 3 years old, was pronounced dead at Connecticut Children's Medical Center minutes later. Authorities have not revealed the toddler's name.
"It's just a sad thing that it had to happen like this," said a neighbor, Juan Birriel, "but maybe people will learn from this and take precautions when it comes to young children."
For 26 years Don Solimini has worked as a physician's assistant in pediatrics. At Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, Solimini stood next to a cabinet in a treatment room as he discussed just those precautions.
"There are things you can buy at a children's store that will allow you to secure this in some fashion to the studs or right to the wall," he said.
Another hazard that might look like something to climb to a 3-year-old is a big-screen TV. Again, it can be secured inexpensively.
Solimini cited a study from 2008 showing more than 5,000 US children are injured each year in preventable household accidents.