MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The mother of a child found alone inside a burning Miami apartment is under arrest.
Erica Rosello, 32, is charged with child neglect with great bodily harm. Police said neighbors told them Rosello was outside when the fire broke out and made no attempt to save her 5-year old girl who was screaming for help.
Neighbors called for help when they saw smoke pouring out of a first floor unit at the Versailles Gardens Condominiums on Flagler Street and 94th Avenue just before 8 p.m.
When they arrived, neighbors told them they heard a child’s cries coming from inside the unit that was on fire.
“The bed was literally two feet from the window and I happened to see the little girl,” said Miami-Dade Firefighter David Arrencibia.
Arrencibia told CBS4 there was no time to wait for a ladder. He smashed a window and his partner gave him a boost into the bedroom where he saw the girl through the smoke.
“I could tell she was unconscious. It was picking her up, turning around and taking her out the window,” said Arrencibia.
The little girl was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Witnesses told police the mother left the scene and was nowhere to be found once firefighters had pulled the child to safety.
Crews were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to surrounding units.
“I feel accomplished. I’m grateful that the situation was such that we were able to get her out as quickly as we did. Had we taken another three, four minutes the outcome would have been different,” said Arrencibia.
Officials believe the blaze may have started in the kitchen area. The cause of the fire remains unclear.
Rosello is in jail right now and is set to go before a judge Saturday.
She has reportedly been arrested for child neglect and driving under the influence in the past.
Once released from the hospital, the child will be taken care of by the Department of Children and Families. She will remain in their custody until at least Saturday when there will be a hearing before a judge to determine where she will go.