EXCLUSIVE: Teen says he tried to save girl from huge apartment blaze
BATON ROUGE - A 16-year-old says he tried to save a girl from an apartment fire Tuesday, but was unsuccessful.
Jose Alexander Rosa spoke to News 2's Brett Buffington at a vigil for 5-year-old Treasure Garner, who died after the apartment she was inside of caught fire. Rosa only speaks Spanish, but News 2's Natalia Verdina was able to translate.
"I got to the balcony," Rosa explained, "and that's where I saw that the mother of the 5-year-old was on the ground, and she was yelling 'my daughter, my daughter.'"
Rosa says he met Treasure when his family moved into the Cedarcrest Apartments complex after the flood. He says he ran towards the inferno, fearing it was his family inside. When he found out it was Treasure, he says he didn't stop trying to help.
The whole thing was caught on Facebook Live.
"I wanted to save the girl," Rosa explained. "I got up there, I wanted to save her. I broke the window, but it was too late."
Inside the fire-filled apartment, Rosa says he saw Treasure Garner, but there was nothing he could do.
"When I saw the little girl she was completely engulfed in flames, I could barley make her out."
Rosa says he had to jump out a balcony to save himself. The day after the tragic blaze, he says he wishes he could have done more.
The fire was ruled an accident. Invesitgators say an 18-year-old was cooking on the stove and left to take the trash out, during which the fire started.