THE BRONX — The 3-year-old girl who was badly hurt when a fire swept through her family's Bronx apartment and killed her older sister Sunday morning is the daughter of an NYPD cop who is also recovering from injuries from the blaze, family members and sources said.
The injured girl, Hailey Martinez, was "doing better" Monday evening, her grandfather German Martinez said, but she was still hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
Her mother Ruth Scheker, an officer at Harlem's 26th Precinct, suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns in the fire, which was sparked by a pinched stove cord in the 977 Grant Ave. apartment and was fueled by a gas can left over from Hurricane Sandy, sources said.
The blaze killed Hailey's 7-year-old half-sister Hazel Martinez.
Scheker was released from Lincoln Hospital Monday, sources said.
A Grant Avenue neighbor, Mari Garcia, said she visited Scheker in the hospital after the fatal fire.
"She didn't want to eat anything," Garcia said, adding that she brought Scheker fruit. "She still smelled like smoke."
Hailey, who had been rushed to the same hospital as her mother Sunday and was then transferred to New York Hospital, was also improving on Monday, said German Martinez, 65.
He said his son, Shaun Martinez, had been keeping a vigil at the 3-year-old's bedside ever since Sunday.
The fire was ignited by the stove, which had just been installed in the kitchen of the girls' fourth-floor apartment, near East 164th Street. The blaze sparked when the flame made contact with a nearby gas can in a cabinet that the family had bought because of the Hurricane Sandy fuel shortage, sources and fire officials said.
The can was nearly full, according to sources.
Five firefighters also suffered minor injuries in the fire.