2-year-old girl dies in fire

October 10, 2009 6:15:24 PM PDT
A 2-year-old girl has died after fire swept through her home in Chicago's East Garfield Park neighborhood.Firefighters responded to the blaze on the 2900 block of West Lexington Street shortly after 11 p.m. Friday.

The two-year-old girl was identified Saturday morning by the medical examiner's office as Jayla Ray. She died of carbon monoxide and smoke inhalation

Fire officials say Ray was still alive when they found her and transported her in critical condition to Mt. Sinai hospital late Friday. However, her injuries were too severe.

Jayla's mother says the child was at a sleepover with cousins when the fire broke out. "She was with my nieces and nephews and stuff and my son was there too .. I got a six year old ...they were all up in the fire."

It is not clear what part of the building the little girl was rescued from, but firefighters from Engine 107 say, when they responded to the blaze, they found heavy fire on the upper floor of the building.

The fire, which was initially called in as a working fire, was struck by 11:30 p.m. According to a family friend, two other children lived on the top floor, but they were unharmed.

The home sustained heavy damage, and according to a spokesperson for the fire department, preliminary reports cite an overloaded extension cord as a possible cause for the blaze. The building's landlord told ABC7 Chicago the family's gas had been cut off about three months ago and that the family was using a space heater Friday night, and that might have contributed to the overload.

"This is the season where a lot of space heaters are used but the main thing is for people to use smoke detectors," said Deputy Chief William Monroe of the Chicago Fire Department.

It also appears there were no smoke detectors in the home.

Fire officials say residents without detectors can pick them up for free at any fire station or alderman's office.


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