A 20-year-old Brooklyn woman was arrested after her 2-year-old daughter died in a fire early Tuesday, authorities said.
Leila Aquino was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment after authorities found 2-year-old Kaleenah Muldrow dead under the bed in her Bedford-Stuyvesant home following the fire, authorities said.
Investigators were looking into whether the girl was left alone when the flames broke out at about 6:50 a.m. in the three-story Monroe Street home, near Patchen Avenue.
The mother told investigators she had left her young daughter with a babysitter, a law enforcement official said. But the babysitter told them she hadn’t watched Kaleenah in a while after getting into a fight with her mom over unpaid wages, the official said.
The mother told cops she was out having drinks with a man when the blaze caught, the official said.
Firefighters got the flames under control just before 7:30 a.m. Just over two hours later, the mother returned home and said Kaleenah was inside, police said.
Firefighters had done an initial search for people but didn’t find the girl, a second law enforcement official said. When they went back in, they found her but it was too late, the official said.
“It’s just messed up,” said Malcolm Yates, 27, who lives next door. “I was just heartbroken. I couldn’t believe it.”
By Tuesday afternoon, the smell of smoke still hung in the air, with brick walls exposed through the charred windows. Investigators in white suits walked in and out.
Kaleenah’s 30-year-old teacher, who didn’t want to use her name, said she was always a happy kid. She saw her just yesterday.
“She’d play with everybody,” the teacher said. “When I heard it, the first thing is I just cried. I couldn’t believe it — I just saw Kaleenah yesterday. She was just here yesterday.”
She said Kaleenah would run to see her mother when she picked her up in the afternoons. A babysitter usually took her to daycare in the mornings, she said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation on Tuesday.