Troy passerby, neighbors help children after house fire

February 19, 2018 06:33 PM

TROY -- Angela McCormick knew something was wrong Sunday morning.

"I was driving to work and saw a girl coming up 107th wearing nothing but a t-shirt, no pants, no shoes, and I went around the block to see what was wrong," she said.  "Something just didn't seem right."

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What McCormick saw then was a house on fire on Fourth Avenue in Troy.

Police say the girl's mother, 27-year-old Charlyce Cherry, went to a friend's and left three daughters, ages three, eight, and nine, home alone overnight.

Police believe one of the children started the fire with a lighter or matches.

"Yesterday morning, a little girl came pounding on my door," said neighbor Wayne Brant.  "I came out the door to find out what was going on.  She was running.  She was in a yellow t-shirt, no shoes or anything on.  And she yells back to me her house is on fire and her sisters are inside."

He called 9-1-1.  The flames grew quickly.

Neighbor Ray Skaarup says everyone's heart stopped when they thought children were trapped inside.

The three girls were able to get out.

"You couldn't get near the place, the flames were intense," said Skaarup.  "They were horrendous coming out that front porch."

Witnesses say the children were terrified, running around in the snow, two with only t-shirts on and the youngest one, a toddler, naked.

McCormick took all three girls into her car.

"There was a gentleman who was at the corner store.  I saw her running up to him.  He carried her to my car and gave them a bunch of food that he had bought," she said.  "And I called my friend Jess Callahan who lives on that block.  She's got a couple kids, so I called her and she brought as many clothes as she could, just to try to keep them warm until the police asked me to drive them down to the station so that they didn't have to get in a cop car."

She has a nine-year-old daughter herself and says there was no question that she would help any way she could.

"You don't ever stop being a mom," she said.

Cherry, the girls' mother, is facing three misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

Police say she and her children are now staying at a motel.



Kumi Tucker

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