Balloons, candles and stuffed animals filled the entrance of a second-story Monticello apartment where 6-year-old Victoria Erickson died in a fast-moving fire Sunday night.
"I couldn't even make it up the stairs and then when the firemen got here we kept telling them, 'My daughter's up there, my daughter is up there.' But by that time it was too late. The place was totally engulfed in flames. There was no way she was going to get out," said Dan Erickson, the victim's father.
Investigators believe a kitchen grease fire quickly spread and engulfed the three-bedroom residence at the Monticello garden apartment complex.
Six other children and the girl's mother all made it out alive by jumping off a second story balcony.
Among those who escaped were Josh Robinson's three daughters.
"The mother was stuck on the balcony and she dropped a little kid that was still in there with her and then she jumped off with it, jumped off afterwards," Robinson said.
"Then I tried getting the little girl, but there were already flames. My uncle, he ran up but the flames got in his face," said Kelli Conklin, a neighbor.
The Fire Chief told Eyewitness News his men were on the scene in four minutes.
Furthermore, he told Eyewitness News the village code inspector found working smoke detectors at the apartment building just two months ago, but no one Eyewitness News talked to heard the smoke alarms last night.
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