BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Police arrested a mother and charged her with endangering a child after her 2-year-old daughter was found dead in a Bed-Stuy apartment fire Tuesday morning, NYPD officials said.
Flames broke out at 755 Monroe St. near Patchen Avenue around 6:49 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said. Firefighters brought the blaze under control about 7:40 a.m., officials said.
About two hours after the fire was extinguished on the second floor of the building, Leila Aquino, 20, told NYPD officers at the scene that her daughter, Kaleenah Muldrow, 2, was inside at the time of the fire, police said.
A neighbor said Aquino became frantic about her daughter.
"The mom was yelling, 'Where's my baby? Where's my baby?'" the neighbor, who declined to give her name, said.
Firefighters returned to the building and found Kaleenah unconscious and unresponsive on the second floor, according to officials.
She was was pronounced dead at the scene.
Aquino broke down in tears and was taken away in a patrol car, the neighbor said. She was later arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment, NYPD officials said.
The child’s father, Kason Muldrow, said he was unsure if his daughter was left alone at the time of the blaze.
“I can’t believe what’s going on,” said Muldrow, 28, adding that he did not live with the mother and toddler and rushed over after receiving a call from his cousin.
“I’m crushed … it’s like a nightmare to me.”
Muldrow and his cousin, Lisa Robinson, described the child as “beautiful” and “very happy.”
Fire marshals are working to determine what sparked the fire, and the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death, officials said.