A bubbly 5-year-old girl was killed yesterday in a Staten Island house fire that left her mother fighting for her life, officials said. Residents at 46 Brook St. woke up to thick smoke that billowed from a basement apartment and quickly engulfed the two-story house shortly after 1 a.m.
Tenants quickly escaped, except for Maud Coberland, 35, and her daughter, Lindsey, who lived in an apartment above a basement kitchen, where firefighters believe the blaze began.
"I banged on the lady's door, and she got up but she didn't get out," said Albert Cabanas, a first-floor neighbor.
"My 9-year-old son saw her. She asked him what happened and he said, 'Get out, there's a fire.' I don't know after that."
Officials said the mother and daughter were overcome by smoke. Firefighters had to battle the flames to rescue the two, but were unable to save the little girl.
She was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Vincent's Hospital. Her mother was also taken to St. Vincent's, then transferred to Staten Island University Medical Center. She was listed in critical condition with severe smoke inhalation.
Another house resident, Jesus Rodriguez, was listed in stable condition at Staten Island University Medical Center, where he was being treated for second-degree burns to his hands and face.
The fire started in the kitchen area of the studio he rented, officials said. Rodriguez managed to escape and warn his first-floor neighbors.
A firefighter, one of 60 who responded, was also taken to St. Vincent's with minor injuries.
Coberland, a nursing student who worked at an area hospital, had lived at the address for only three months, a family member said.
She was considering moving to Brooklyn, where she was scouting a new school for her daughter.
Additional reporting by Philip Messing