Family describes 'unreal' loss after devastating apartment fire in Washington Heights

Jim Dolan Image
Thursday, April 4, 2024
Family describes 'unreal' loss after devastating apartment fire
Jim Dolan spoke to the brother two weeks after the apartment fire in Washington Heights.

EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- An older brother is speaking out about an unimaginable tragedy, two weeks after a fire ravaged a New York City apartment while a mother left her children home alone to run to the store.

Fire devoured the fifth-floor Washington Heights apartment two weeks ago. Inside, two babies, apparently left alone, were trapped behind a wall of flames and suffocating smoke.

King Corporon was not yet 3 years old. He died in New York Presbyterian Medical Center on Tuesday night. His little brother Zayden is clinging to life but is in critical condition.

"It's unreal, the family, some of them still don't believe it. It's hard. It's two babies. It's unreal. Some of us are just broken," said the victim's brother Anthony Corporon.

Police say the children's mother had left them and an 8-year-old sister alone for 30 minutes while she went to the store. The sister tried desperately to save the babies, a neighbor said.

"She couldn't reach the youngest one cause the fire was already in the living room," the neighbor said.

"She did what she could, she's a baby, so she didn't know, but she tried to get help and help her brothers," Corporon said.

The children's mother was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child for leaving the children unsupervised.

"As a mother, that's not a choice that you decide to do. They're kids, they touch a lot, they do a lot of stuff, they're interested in everything. They're babies, they're going to think anything is interesting," Corporon said.

The father of the children made the wrenching decision Tuesday night to take the older son, King, off of life support and to donate his heart, liver and lungs.

They are now praying Zayden, the younger child, somehow survives, as his father faces the possibility of losing a second son.

"It hurts all of us, but it's not the same as hurting him. Those were his kids and he loved them to death," Corporon said.


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