Ibanez (L) and Scylee-Vayoh (R) Ambrose1/2
Ibanez (L) and Scylee-Vayoh (R) Ambrose
The apartment building where the family lived was designated for homeless resident|Google Maps2/2
The apartment building where the family lived was designated for homeless resident|Google Maps
Two young girls were killed Wednesday after being severely burned from a steam leak in their Bronx apartment, authorities said.
Scylee-Vayoh Ambrose, 1, and Ibanez Ambrose, 2, were burned at about noon in a first-floor apartment on Hunts Point Avenue near Spofford Avenue in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. They were taken to Lincoln Hospital, where they were both pronounced dead.
According to published reports,a valve popped off the heater, causing the girls to be burned by the steam.
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“A radiator blew,” an FDNY source told the New York Daily News. “It’s very bad.”
A neighbor told ABC7 she ran to the apartment, where steam was coming out from the closed door, when she heard the children's mother scream.
Another neighbor said both parents ran from the building carrying the tiny bodies.
"[The mom] had the baby on the ground trying to make [her] alive, pumping her heart,” Annie Martinez, 47, told the Daily News.
“The father had the girl on his shoulder...[The babies]were both totally purple."
Bronx News 12 said the apartment is designated for homeless families and the Daily News reported that the family is from Maine. The mother plays guitar and the father is a tattoo artist.
"We call them the Disney kids because they're so gorgeous," neighbor Tye Wiggins, 28, said of the two girls, the Daily News reported. "Blue eyes, blonde hair. They're literally like magical. Every time you see those two little girls, you smile."
"There's never a day that you see [the parents] without their girls,” Wiggins continued. “It's heartbreaking. This could have happened to anyone of us in the building."
With yet another tragedy in New York, "transparency is key," Comptroller Scott Stringer said.
“We’ve lost two more of our youngest, most vulnerable New Yorkers," Stringer said. "It comes as the homeless population has just reached yet another record high, and the number of children in the [Department of Homeless Services] system is soaring. We have to do better."
An NYPD spokeswoman said the investigation is ongoing, but a criminal act is not suspected.
"We will certainly be looking at Building Department records, previous complaints, outstanding complaints, current complaints,” FDNY Chief Michael Gala told the Daily News.
Neighbors said the building regularly has heating issues.
"In my house I had to close [the radiator],” Martinez told the Daily News. “The heat, I couldn't breathe. This building is always having problems."