Toddler dies in apartment fire

Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 4-year-old girl died in a fire she started with a cigarette lighter, said Fairbanks Deputy Fire Marshal Ernie Misewicz.

Alia Pewamo's body was found Wednesday by a Fairbanks fighterfighter in the upstairs bedroom closet of the Executive Estates apartment where she lived with her family.

Her 8-month-old brother, Tegan, and her teen-aged aunt, who was baby-sitting, were downstairs when the fire broke out and escaped without injuries.

Misewicz said the baby-sitter discovered the fire and ran upstairs, but was forced back by smoke and heat. She ran back downstairs, grabbed the infant and ran to a neighbor's apartment.

When firefighters arrived roughly eight minutes later small flames were visible and black smoke filled the second-story, Misewicz said.

The fire was confined to the upstairs of the two-story apartment where Tim and Heather Glass and the two children lived, Misewicz said.

Paramedics worked to save the child while they rushed her to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead from smoke inhalation.

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