On Thursday night, a fire broke out in a Sunnyside apartment. Firefighters were able to save three children - 1-year-old twins and a 6-year-old - as well as their 59-year-old grandmother Carmen Ospina, who had been watching them. However, they were not able to save their 2-year-old brother C.J., a fact that Opsina lamented, "There's one missing. I barely had enough hands to rescue them."
Sixty firefighter had responded to the scene, which took an hour to extinguish. Her daughter and the children's mother, Jacqueline Lopez, had buying groceries at the time. Ospina, her grandchildren, and her daughter, had been living with four other extended family members in a 2-bedroom apartment.
The FDNY revealed that the 6-year-old child, Isaiah, started the fire when he was playing with Lopez's cigarette lighter. When the child "playfully flicked on the flame," C.J.'s bedsheets caught fire. The lighter had been on the TV, and Lopez said, "It was my lighter. I was rushing down and I forget the lighter. He's never taken it before. I don't know what made him do that."
She said that Isaiah apologized and that he's confused. Her mother, whose hair caught fire while she attempted to save the chlidren, was held in the psychiatric unit of Elmhurst for observation and wept as she told the News, "I ran to check on the kids but the room was already full of flames. I got out of the house as fast as I could with three of them and then went back for C.J... Oh, my God, I tried twice but I couldn't get him. I tried to help my grandson, but I couldn't. I did the best I could."