23-year-old Lequeisha Watkins is dead and her son is in critical condition following a fire early Friday morning on Timon Street in Buffalo. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti spoke with the fire commissioner and a man who was able to escape the home, and tells us more about what happened.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — "Thank God that we made it out of there," said Morris Singer.
Singer is grateful he and his loved ones were able to escape the massive fire in their home early Friday morning. He says he was watching TV when he saw smoke coming up through the floor.
"When we opened the door to the hallway, it was just nothing but clouds of black smoke, so instantly we just got our kids, got out the door, with whatever we had on our back," said Singer.
Singer, his girlfriend, and his two kids lived on the second floor. He says when he got outside, he saw one of his neighbors from downstairs.
"I tried to kick the door in, once he told me his kid was in there, and there was just like too much smoke. Too much fire in there and I just couldn't get in there, so I felt bad about that," said Singer.
Fire officials say the man who lived downstairs was able to escape with his two-year-old son, but his 23-year-old fiance, Lequeisha Watkins, and a two-year-old son were trapped inside.
"They were located in the back bedroom at the house upon arrival, heavy fire, very heavy fire conditions on the first floor of the house and the front of the house," said Commissioner Garnell Whitfield of the Buffalo Fire Department.
Whitfield says both were taken to local hospitals with serious burns and smoke inhalation. The mother passed away later Friday.
"That must be a horrifying experience; you know, I watched him cry in my arms. I just can't imagine how he feels. My heart goes out to him," said Singer.
Whitfield says the cause of the fire, which spread to two neighboring homes is being investigated.
"There's no exact science to this, we're going to do a thorough investigation, extreme damage," said Whitfield, "So finding the mechanism and origin of the fire is going to take some time."
As for Singer, he and his family lost everything, but he says what's most important is they have each other.
"I'm just really thankful my kids is safe."
Singer says his family is being helped by the Red Cross.