Grandfather Attempted to Save Toddler Who Died in White Plains (NY) Fire

The grandfather of a two-year-old girl who died in a fire Saturday at her family’s home apparently was trying to save her when he succumbed to the heavy smoke that quickly filled her bedroom and the rest of the house, reports

Charles Young, 79, was clinging to life in “very grave condition” at White Plains Hospital on Monday, authorities said. On Saturday morning, firefighters carried Young and his granddaughter, Lalayjah Pearson, from a second-floor bedroom during the blaze at 29 Nutgrove St. The little girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“The grandfather and child were found in the same bedroom,” Police Lt. Eric Fischer said, adding that the fire started in another second-floor bedroom and investigators believe Young was trying to rescue his granddaughter before he collapsed.

The toddler’s grandmother, Doris Young, 77, remained in stable condition at the hospital, where she’s being treated for smoke inhalation. She was found on the ground floor of the two-and-a-half-story house by Police Sgt. Daniel McMahon, who carried her outside.

Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said McMahon and members of the police emergency service unit were not far from the neighborhood when the 11 a.m. fire was reported. After carrying Doris Young from the house, they tried two or three times to get to the second floor, but were unable to because of the intense heat and smoke.

Firefighters arrived within minutes, passed Charles Young and his granddaughter down the stairs and quickly brought the blaze under control.

“They were heroic in their actions, but unfortunately they were unable to save the baby,” Chong said.

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