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Trust Fund Created For Burned 3-Year-Old, Dad Says

NEW YORK — The father of a 3 year-old girl still hospitalized a month after a fire took the life of her 7-year-old sister announced Friday a new trust fund has been created in the surviving child's name.

Shaun Martinez thanked the doctors, nurses and other staff at New York Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center, where Haile remains in critical condition following last month's blaze in the family's Bronx home.

Her 7-year-old sibling, Hazel Martinez, was killed in the blaze.

"My family and I are grateful for everyone's ongoing support during this difficult time, and the many other people who have donated their time, clothing, and money, and have shared their condolences and words of prayer to lift my family's spirits," Martinez said in a statement.

The inferno burst out inside Martinez's fourth floor apartment at 977 Grant Ave. about 4 a.m. March 17 when a pinched stove cord sparked a fire, and it spread to a nearby 5-gallon gas can that had been stored there since the fuel shortage during Hurricane Sandy.

Haile Martinez was initially taken to Lincoln Medical Center in critical condition, and was later transferred to New York Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center where she is still in critical condition a month later, her father said.

Haile's mother, Ruth Scheker, an officer with Harlem's 28th Precinct, was also hospitalized after the fire and remains in serious condition, neighbors said.