BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The FDNY is reviewing why firefighters failed to discover a 2-year-old girl who died inside a burning Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment.
The girl's body wasn't found until the child's mother asked where she was hours after the blaze was extinguished, law enforcement sources said.
Firefighters were called to 755 Monroe St., near Patchen Avenue, around 6:49 a.m. on Feb. 23 for a fire on the top floor of the building. They brought it under control just before 7:30 a.m., according to the FDNY.
Responding firefighters conducted searches of the building for potentially trapped occupants, the FDNY said, adding that there was no report of anyone inside the burning apartment during the initial call or by anyone on the scene when firefighters arrived.
About two hours after the blaze was extinguished, Leila Aquino, 20, returned to the home and told officers that her daughter was inside the building at the time of the fire, police said.
Firefighters returned to the scene around 9:30 a.m. and discovered the “charred remains” of 2-year-old Kaleenah Muldrow, according to police and court documents.
The FDNY said it reviews its operations after every fatal fire and sources said the department is looking into why the child was not initially found.
An FDNY spokesman said the review was not a formal investigation of why firefighters didn't initially find Kaleenah.
Aquino, who neighbors said arrived at the home yelling for her daughter, told police that she left Muldrow alone at the apartment around midnight Tuesday.
She was arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment, NYPD officials said. She is being held on $10,000 bail.
Her criminal history includes arrests for stolen property and robbery, with the most recent in 2015 for weapon possession, sources said.
Aquino's lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
The mother was already being investigated by the Administration for Children’s Services, which opened a case on Aquino on Feb. 15 after a babysitter reported that she was leaving the toddler unattended while she went to work as a stripper at the CityScapes Gentlemen’s Club in Queens, sources said.
An ACS spokesman said privacy laws prevent the agency from discussing any specific cases, but that they were investigating the circumstances surrounding Muldrow’s death.
The child’s father, Kason Muldrow, previously said that he did not live with the mother and daughter and that he was “crushed” by Tuesday’s incident.
Sources said the fire was started by a hot plate that had been left on in the apartment.
The Medical Examiner is investigating the cause and manner of the toddler’s death, officials said.