MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee mother may be to blame after her young daughter couldn't escape a burning home on Saturday, Feb. 10. The woman, 31, has been taken into custody on preliminary charges of child neglect after 1-year-old Quamyiia Owens died following the fire near 28th and Meinecke.
Family members told FOX6 News Quamyiia Owens just celebrated her first birthday in December. She was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after the fire, and sadly, she did not survive.
Fire crews and police responded to the area near 28th and Meinecke Saturday night around 10 p.m. Upon arrival, crews encountered fire coming from a first floor window.
Firefighters said the girl was rescued from the first floor, where she'd been in a bedroom. Family members said there were people living on both floors. Officials said the home did have working smoke detectors. Fire officials said an adult on the second floor heard the smoke alarm and got some of the kids on the first floor to safety.
A neighbor took them in, and was heartbroken to learn the 1-year-old didn't survive.
"I heard pounding on the door. A lady was out here with a bunch of children wanting to come in because she was claiming there was a fire. The kids were cold. She looked a little bit hysterical. I said 'sure -- come in, warm up.' They were a little bit scared. It's sad. It's sad. It really is. It's a hard thing. I can pray for the family of the little girl -- hope that somehow they find some kind of peace," Thomas Visek said.
The circumstances leading up to the fire are under investigation. Police and the State Fire Marshal are involved.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Fire Department held a news conference Monday in front of the home that caught fire regarding the importance of working smoke alarms in every citizen’s home.
Then, firefighters went door-to-door in the neighborhood offering fire safety education materials, checking for working smoke alarms and installing new alarms as necessary. Installing free smoke alarms in residences is a component of Project FOCUS (Firefighters Out Creating Urban Safety).
If you are in need of a smoke alarm, please call the Smoke Alarm Hotline. Arrangements will be made for Milwaukee Firefighters to come to your residence and install a smoke alarm free of charge.
Milwaukee Fire Department Smoke Alarm Hotline: 414-286-8980