AIGBOGUN firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-12-12 published
Girl, 15, dies after blaze
Grade 10 student was trapped in townhouse during fire on Sunday
By Michele HENRY, Staff Reporter
Friends of a 15-year-old girl who died yesterday after her house became engulfed in flames set up a small memorial beside the charred remains of her home within hours of finding out the tragic news.
Friends identified the high school student as Princila ASANTE.
Two red candles burned last night on a grassy stoop just beyond the Humber Blvd. townhouse Princila shared with her family. It's just one block south of where the Grade 10 student attended Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School.
Described as a quiet, trustworthy girl, Princila died in hospital after firefighters found the teenager on the third floor of her home, where she was trapped for nearly an hour, neighbours say, when the fire blazed out of control throughout the townhouse.
A card placed at the centre of the growing memorial, which rests on a tree in the front yard, is scribbled with short notes to the girl nicknamed Princess.
"I love you," reads one note. "Your spirit will continue to live on in my heart."
One more reads "I'm going to miss your pretty face."
Friends and classmates of Princila plastered their computer screens with images of the girl last night and many say they're in shock.
"I still can't believe it. It's very sad," said Osayanmo AIGBOGUN, a long-time friend, who attended Cordella Avenue Public School with her. "She was a happy person. She always smiled." Police tape surrounded the townhouse yesterday and wraps around the two homes, which flank it. A car-sized heap of debris is piled outside the front door and smoke-damaged window frames reveal a black, burned-out interior.
A battered second floor window ledge betrays another part of the tragic story that unfolded around 7 p.m. Sunday, after a fire in the kitchen quickly spread.
When Haida ADDO, 20, who also lives in the Weston Rd. and Black Creek Doctor complex, spotted flames reaching through a first-floor window, she ran to a townhouse beside Princila's and banged on the door.
"Get out, there's a fire," she said yesterday just beyond the scene, describing how she yelled for her friend to come outside.
As soon as both met on the lawn, they called to Princila's brother Giddeon, 11, who looked dumbstruck standing in front of the house, ADDO said, before the girls spotted Princila's mother at the second floor. "Help, Help," ADDO said, recalling his mother's cries, before the 49-year-old woman climbed onto the ledge and jumped from the building.
She landed on the ground, breaking a leg, ADDO said, before police and fire trucks came to the street.
Two firefighters suffered serious burns on their hands and arms because of the extreme temperatures inside the home.
The Ontario Fire Marshal's office is investigating.
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