Community gathers for vigil honoring victims of deadly Bronx firePosted: Updated:
A Bronx community is in mourning following the apartment building blaze that claimed the lives of 12 people.
Community members gathered Friday night near the scene of the fire on Prospect Avenue in the Bronx's Belmont neighborhood. The pain was palpable as loved ones gathered to light candles and say prayers for the victims.
As News 12 has reported, investigators say a toddler playing with a stove was the cause of the fire. The child's mother grabbed the boy and his sibling and fled, but she left their apartment door open, allowing the flames to rapidly spread to the rest of the building.
Two families lost multiple members in the fire.
Some of those who perished have been identified as family members Karen Francis, 37; Shantay Young, 19; and Kylie and Charmela Francis, ages 2 and 7. Grandmother Maria Batiz and her 8-month-old granddaughter also died in the blaze.
Loved ones say they're still in shock over the sudden loss.
Donations were being collected Saturday for those affected by the fire. But by Saturday afternoon, city officials say donation sites were filled to capacity.