LORAIN, Ohio -- Community members are mourning after a 7-year-old girl lost her life in an early morning house fire Sunday.
The fire broke out at 1912 Washington Avenue in Lorain around 3:15 a.m.
Lorain firefighters say the fire spread so quickly that when they arrived, the home was already engulfed in flames. Six people were inside the house when the fire broke out.
Firefighters were seen climbing on the roof, trying desperately to get into the upstairs, but flames fought them back.
Ultimately, five people escaped the burning house. Neighbors say several of them were kids.
However, a 7-year-old girl died in the fire. Fire officials said she was found in the doorway of an upstairs bedroom. She was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
A first grade girl, who is a classmate of the victim, left a stuffed panda on the steps of the burned house Sunday afternoon in memory of her friend, along with so many other kids who did similar things.
Neighbors say the little girl was always playing and smiling.
Ronald Tarrat, who lives near the home, said the girl who died was like a sister to him, because she was always over his house playing with his little sister. He added that the victim had actually asked his sister to sleep over Saturday evening.
“She was just always happy. She always came down here playing with my little sister. They were like best friends. Just to think that she asked if my little sister could sleep over is wild,” Ronald Tarrat said.
“It really is heartbreaking, because I have a seven-year-old girl—I can only imagine. Prayers for the family,” said Alyah Geiger, whose daughter went to school with the victim.
Lorain firefighters, who tried so hard to save the girl’s life, said they can’t stop thinking about the girl and her family.
“It’s difficult. I saw some of the guys at shift change this morning that fought the fire and it’s one of the toughest things we deal with on our jobs. Something we don’t ever want to see,” said Assistant Chief Jonathon George.
The victim's friends said she was so excited to have started first grade just last Wednesday.