1-year-old had joyful day before fire claimed her life

1-year-old girl dies in fire on Birch Street

NEW ORLEANS -- A house fire in the Carrollton area has claimed the life of a young girl. It happened near Eagle and Birch streets, and the fire burned so intensely this morning; flames could be seen from blocks away.

"I was too late when I got to the scene; they were saying she was already gone, before the fire was even put all the way out," said Aaliyah Darjean, the infant's mother.

Darjean is still coming to grips with the loss of her daughter, one-year-old Aa'myrie Fortenberry.

"All I can remember is her being a happy baby yesterday, just dancing, singing, telling everybody she loved them," Darjean said.

Aa'myrie's parents say the toddler had so much fun playing last night; she wore herself out.

"She was with my cousin, she fell asleep, so we just left her over here she was asleep," said Hozie Fontenberry, Aa'myrie's father.

Firefighters arrived within minutes of the call which came just before 6 a.m.

"When they got here, the fire was through the roof, and the main fire building was already starting to spread," said NOFD Deputy Superintendent Roman Nelson.

A woman at home says she woke up to alarms, but she was not able to get to the toddler.  She escaped through the back of the house.  Neighbors living next door also hurried to safety as the fire spread to both neighbors' homes.

Dehasia Hopkin's father woke her up, and the two ran out of the house next door, leaving everything behind.  We talked with them as they salvaged pictures found after the fire was put out

"These are some of my family members my uncle included, this is an example from his wedding," Hopkins said.

After watching firefighters battle the blaze, Hopkins said she's concerned that the neighborhood's fire hydrants may not be working as they should.

"It seemed like they had issues with the hose because they had to walk all the way down and fix it and all that," Hopkins said.

However, a spokesperson for the city fire department says they are not aware of any issues, explaining, sometimes additional trucks have to hook up to a hydrant further away from an already tapped hydrant for more pressure.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.  As for mom, Aaliyah Darjean, she's asking for prayer in this time of grief.

"We have an angel watching over me.  I'll make it day by day," said Darjean.

Four firefighters were injured trying to save the child, but are all okay.  In all 58 personnel responded to this three-alarm fire.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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