NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was a tragic death in the Bronx Monday.

Police say a 5-year-old boy was killed in an apartment fire. His mother is now recovering at the hospital.

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The fire started in a fifth floor apartment at the Melrose Houses on East 153rd Street.

As CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reports, firefighters got there quickly, but when they got inside it was too late for that little boy and his mother, who is now fighting for her life.

There’s little left inside the home. Firefighters were forced to toss out personal belonging to prevent the fire from spreading. On the ground nearby, there’s a mattress and a melted air conditioner.

The smoke from that fire is what police believe killed a 5-year-old, identified by family as Billy, and left his mother 38, critically injured.

The boy’s uncle Saikou was left emotionally drained.

“They call me. My brother apartment, they got a fire. So I just came,” Saikou Jagna said.

He called his nephew’s passing a tragedy.

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“Yeah, he’s a happy boy all the time,” he said.

Saikou and other family members could only work to pick up the pieces, gathering whatever they could, bot inside and out.

“I’m deeply sorry, especially a little kid at his age. He’s an angel. I ask God to bless him,” said in-law Muhammadou Sillah.

Luckily, the fire didn’t spread beyond that one unit. Nyesha Clark Allenton, a home aide, was working directly below on the fourth floor.

“It’s sad. I know I heard commotion. I thought it was just housing, doing their cleaning,” she said. “Then I came down here, and there was a whole bunch of water.”

The 5-year-old boy’s mother is in critical condition at Lincoln Hospital, while the investigation into what caused the fire is ongoing.


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