GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. -- The Gloversville Fire Department say a child started a deadly house fire last week.
Flames completely consumed the front of a home on Fifth Avenue in Gloversville the night of March 20th.
Six people, including three children, were inside when the fire began, but only five managed to escape.
A week later, a cross could be seen in front of the destroyed home, placed there for the victim, Donald Larimore. Fire officials said Larimore died from asphyxia due to smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide intoxication.
The burned remains of the building are now a reminder for neighbors of that terrifying night.
"I looked out my kitchen window just in time to see a huge ball of fire coming within three feet of the side of my house," said next door neighbor Kathleen Simon.
Fire investigators released the cause of the fire, saying a young child used a lighter to set a blanket on fire inside the home.
Some neighbors say what happened was no one's fault.
"As a parent you make mistakes and leave things out sometimes, and sometimes mistakes will happen," said neighbor Seneca Irelan.
But others fully blame the adults living in the home, describing them as "negligent."
"Not a surprise at all. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner because of the way they have all their bonfires," said Simon. "They always have a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other."
But everyone we spoke to did agree the oldest child saving her younger siblings was a remarkable act of heroism.
Tuesday night the mayor honored 12-year-old Keaira Rivera in a ceremony for getting her younger brother and sister out of the burning building.
"She took it on herself to make sure that her family was safe. That's a beautiful thing," said Irelan.
Fire officials said the tragedy was preventable. At the time of the fire, the home had one smoke alarm without a battery.
The investigation is still ongoing.
341 Northern Blvd., Albany, NY 12204
Can’t find something?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Albany, Inc. A Media General Company.