February 3, 2014 - It was an emotional morning as a 4-year-old girl was found unresponsive in a room of the apartment where the fire started on German Street.
The Erie County Coroner pronounced Fato Abdi dead on scene just after 11am.
Her official cause of death won’t be known for about a month, but the Coroner says Abdi had total body burns and likely had smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation.
Officials say Abdi was in the house alone with her 12-year-old brother, while her father was gone and mother was at the market they own at 26th and German Streets where the fire ultimately spread.
Erie firefighters battled the cold conditions along with heavy smoke and flames at the fire.
Firefighters were on scene at 9:30 this morning fighting the fire that spread into several buildings that are all connected.
Initial reports indicated two people were inside, including a father and a child, but the father was later accounted for.
Because of heavy smoke, fire inspector John Widomski, says firefighters were pulled out of the building for safety reasons.
All city departments and off-duty firefighters were at the fire.
A warming van was brought in to keep firefighters warm.
They fought the fire from the exterior because it was too dangerous to fight it from the inside.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but officials say the building will be demolished.