Los Angeles

Neighbors Grieve Death of Two Young Children and Grandmother in Apartment Fire


Roses and a memorial now stand outside the apartment where two young children and a grandmother died in a fire Sunday in West Covina.

Friends and family are devastated about the tragedy that took place over the weekend.

Martha Cerda is grieving the loss of her close friend, 54-year-old Georgina Yracheta and her grandchildren.

A fire ripped through the Rollingwood Apartment Unit where she was babysitting her 3-month-old granddaughter and 3-year-old grandson.

“She has a fierce maternal instinct, she would have gotten barefoot and naked and grabbed those babies out of the window with broken bones in her body, she was a fighter. It doesn’t make any sense,” Cerda said.

The fire broke out just before 1 a.m. Sunday as crews responded to the rescue call. But after knocking out the fire they found two children and their grandmother dead.

“It engulfed the whole inside and the apartment was totally on fire,” said John Blackwood the next-door neighbor.

Blackwood did not want to be shown on camera but says that after rushing his family to safety he tried to do what he could to help his neighbors.

“We were trying to put the fire out with the few seconds we had but the fore was so big,” Blackwood said. “I punched the plastic of the fire extinguisher and I got cut on my hand and my neighbor had a big gash on his hand.”

Now a growing memorial is outside the apartment complex as many have dropped by the apartment to pay their respects with flowers and loving hugs as they cope through the tragedy.

“I hope my friend is alright, my neighbor I just hope they can overcome this somehow it is terrible,” Blackwood said.

As for the parents of the children, NBC4 was told they are in shock and disbelief. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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