ARLINGTON — A toddler who would have celebrated her second birthday on Sunday died in an early morning two-alarm house fire in Arlington.
Fire department officials said the victim was one of six people inside the single-story home in the 1200 block of Land Rush Drive when the fire was reported around 1:40 a.m.
Only the child — identified by family members as Lily Condron — was unable to escape. Loved ones said they couldn't reach her burning bedroom in the 38-year-old house.
"The house was on fire, and they were trying to get to Lily. They couldn’t get to Lily," said the victim's aunt, Kim King, who got a frantic call from her father moments after the fire.
"It was panic," she recalled. "He was choking. He was coughing because of the smoke, and everybody was just screaming."
King said Lily's father and others tried to save the toddler, but couldn’t reach her. The fire began in the child’s bedroom in the front of the house.
"He just told me he tried to crawl across the floor, but the fire was too much," King said.
The child's father suffered minor scrapes and burns from the fire.
King said the family was planning an outing later sunday at Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate Lily's second birthday.
"It was going to be her first time," she said through tears.
Firefighters knew there was a toddler trapped inside when they arrived at the burning home. Crews reported flames shooting from the windows of the room at the front of the home where Lily had been sleeping.
"Fire crews tried to make a very aggressive, quick rescue," said department spokesman Kevin Seeton in a written statement. "The crews had to fight the fire to get to the child’s room."
Yet firefighters were unable to get to the child in time.
"We saw the fire that was inside the house," said neighbor Ken Huth. "Shortly after that, they brought a chair — like a living room chair — out, and it was on fire."
Lily was found dead in the bedroom. The four adults and Lily's older brother were able to escape without injury.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.