AUBURN, NY (WSYR-TV) - Family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil Sunday night to celebrate the lives of two-year-old Averyana Dale and her godmother, 38-year-old Rachel Harris-Curione.
Family members say they died in a house fire at 26 Greenview Circle in Auburn around 11:00 p.m. Saturday night.
An autopsy will be performed to determine their exact cause of death.
Loni Silverberg, a neighbor and family friend, says “[Averyana was] just full of life. Just very happy and just wants to play and be around other kids. She's just a beautiful little girl.”
Silverberg said Harris-Curione often babysat the toddler. “She always spent the night with her,” said Silverberg. “They always did things together. She was her godmother.”
Firefighters arrived at the house just three minutes after getting a call from a neighbor who heard smoke alarms going off.
Emergency crews found both unresponsive in the living room. CPR was performed and they were taken to Auburn Memorial Hospital where they were pronounced dead a short time later.
Auburn Fire Chief Jeff Dygert said it was a relatively small fire and most of the damage was contained to the kitchen area of the home.
“It didn’t really look like there was a fire in the structure,” Dygert said. “We ended up removing two victims from that house and then attempting some live saving measures at that point until the victims were transported to Auburn community hospital.”
Counselors were available at the fire station to help firefighters cope with the tragedy.
“All the firefighters here like anywhere are just human like anybody else,” said Dygert. “It affects everybody a little bit differently depending on their experience and family situation. So we have an internal mechanism to deal with that the best we can.”
Steven Crossman, a neighbor, said he broke down in tears when he saw the ambulance. "A lot of people were crying. My mom was crying. They had to break a window, and it was horrible."
Friends consoled each other at the candlelight vigil. They shared stories of Averyana's love for Dora the Explorer and playing SuperMario Brothers with her friends.
While holding Averyana's baby sister, her father reminded everyone at the vigil to cherish every moment with their children. “Take care of your kids,” said Avery Dale. “You never know what can happen to them.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Auburn police ask that you call (315) 253-3231 if you have any information.