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23-Month-Old Child Dies In Long Island House Fire

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A Long Island community is in mourning after a fire claimed the life of a young child Wednesday morning; CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE JOHNSON: A Long Island community is in mourning after a fire claimed the life of a young child this morning.

MAURICE DUBOIS: CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff, live in Gordon Heights, with more on the deadly fire. Carolyn.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Maurice and Kristine, this family says they are beyond heartbroken. What we know is that nine people were sleeping in the house-- a grandmother and other adults upstairs, and then downstairs in a basement apartment, there were two small children. The youngest one, who has yet to turn two years old, couldn't get out.

- Oh my god, no.

- I think there's a baby in the basement.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Fire in a Gordon Heights home. Panic sets in as fleeing residents realize a child was in the basement with flames shooting out of the basement door. The overnight tragedy captured on cell video, and in the morning, weeping relatives rushed to 69 Maple Lane. Eight members of one extended family got out. All but one, 23-month-old Majesty Gerald, sleeping in the basement, died in the blaze. Neighbors awoke to the crackling of flames and the smell of smoke at 3:00 AM.

ROSEMARIE KISTNER: I seen it was my neighbor's house, and so I got dressed, and I ran out to see if I can do anything to help. But it was just so much. Hits home, like I have grandkids at that age, so it really hurts me.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Family members say Majesty's 4-year-old sister [INAUDIBLE] alerted other sleeping family members who ran for their lives.

- The four-year-old is the one who got upstairs to get the other family members, and I was told that she has burns to her hands from the doorknobs, I guess being so hot.

- God took one angel, and he left an angel.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: God took one angel and left an angel, their heartbroken grandmother told me. Little Majesty was happy and bright.

- She was one going on two. She was a little girl with old soul. Beautiful little girl. It hurts, and it hurts bad.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Suffolk Police say the fire is not suspicious. Relatives say there was a space heater in the basement and smoke detectors didn't go off.

ERIC LEE: We know there was an occupant in the house, I mean a baby and-- we just kept kind of pushing in, and pushing in. And unfortunately it didn't work as we planned, and we're sorry for the family. They took a loss.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: The loss is overwhelming says Reverend Thomas Flood.

ERIC LEE: This is a good community. It's a great community. And so, the people here are trying to help the family out the best way that they can.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: And the Red Cross is also helping with emergency shelter and counseling. In fact, there will also be counseling for volunteer members of the Gordon Heights Fire Department. This is the first fatality in their history. In Gordon Heights, Long Island, Carolyn Gusoff, CBS 2 News.

MAURICE DUBOIS: OK, Carolyn. Thank you.