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Community mourns 10-year-old girl killed in west Detroit apartment fire

Family devastated by loss of 10-year-old Ania Pye

DETROIT – A fire inside an apartment complex on Detroit's west side grew too quickly Thursday and now a family is heartbroken after a 10-year-old girl was killed.

The fire happened at an apartment building on Chicago West and Burt Road on the city's west side.

The grandmother of the 10-year-old girl talked about the pain of losing her loved one.

"Now I am broken-hearted," Constance Bell said. "My heart is very heavy."

Bell said she's devastated that her granddaughter, Ania Pye, was killed in the fire.

"That was my angel, and now my angel is gone," Bell said.

Surveillance video shows Ania's 3-year-old brother running to a nearby liquor store for help. His mother ran and grabbed him and ran back to the complex, where Ania had died.

Residents have been dropping off balloons and teddy bears at the spot where Ania died.

Two of the men who tried to rescue the girl are also heartbroken.

"My heart really goes out to the family," said Arthur Putnam, who tried to rescue Ania. "I'm sorry I couldn't do any more, but I did all I could do."

Putnam and Calvin Tolbert both tried saving the little girl, breaking windows and kicking down the door.

"I just kicked the door in," Putnam said. "There was so much fire and smoke, it came back at me and blew me back. The back of my coat is burned."

They said that knowing the 10-year-old girl died is hard to bear.

"That's a hurting feeling when you can't get the baby out of there," Tolbert said.

The community is devastated by the loss of a beloved and bright little girl, and the family is left to grieve for their loss.

"She died too early for something that was not her fault," Bell said.

Family members said Ania's mother was in the area, but she wasn't in the apartment when the fire started. They said she is in the hospital because she suffered some burns after the fire.

Fire investigators said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it doesn't appear to be criminal.

The family has made a GoFundMe page. You can donate here.


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