National News

Neighbors in disbelief after morning fire claims the life of a baby girl

Posted September 5

— A 1-year-old girl is dead after a fire tore through a home in New Orleans' Leonidas neighborhood around 6 a.m. Monday.

The fire broke out at 8829 Birch St., a double that houses two families. Flames engulfed the home in two minutes and had already spread to neighboring structures when fire crews arrived four minutes after receiving the call.

One-year-old Aamyriae Fontenberry perished in the blaze. Her father left her to stay the night with her cousin, after the little girl had fallen asleep on the couch.

Aamyriae was in the front of the home, which did have functioning smoke alarms, but the fire spread so quickly, neither family members nor fire crews were able to reach her in time.

In the other side of the double, Daren Hopkins was able to save his 16-year-old daughter and dog, but his car and all of his possessions are destroyed.

"I woke up and I started hearing pops," Hopkins told WGNO. "Soon as I woke up I saw smoke. I got my baby girl out, got the dog out and ran out. And it went up like that. Two minutes, it was in flames."

The fire was a 3-alarm blaze, with 21 units responding. Four firefighters received minor injuries and were treated on the scene. No other residents were injured.

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