8-year-old girl dies after suffering severe burns in February fire

Apr 25, 2016

A young girl who was badly burned in a February fire in Buffalo has died. Treasure Brighon, 8, succumbed to her injuries Sunday at a Cincinnati hospital. 

Brighton suffered burns to more than 80% of her body when a blaze erupted at her Humber Avenue home on February 19. Her mother's fiance, Demetrius Johnson, died trying to rescue her. An upstairs neighbor, Juan Montanez, also lost his life.

Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield says the fatal February fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring near the home's stove.
Credit Nick Lippa/WBFO News

Brighon was recovering at Cincinnati's Shriners Hospital, where she had been making progress following several operations and skin grafts. But she fell ill and her condition worsened Sunday, causing her heart to stop. 

Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield on Monday confirmed the cause of the deadly blaze.

“The Buffalo Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that fire is accidental and is caused by electrical wiring behind the stove on the first floor. The fire emanated from that point, traveled up to the second floor and to the attic, ultimately causing the deaths of three persons,” Whitfield said in a briefing held in Niagara Square.

Whitfield said there were some maintenance complaints at the property, but nothing that would result in any criminal charges.

“It’s a terrible, terrible fire. Absolutely. We lost, persons lost their lives in this. So this absolutely will go down in history as one of the worst fires in the history of Buffalo. Any time, you know, residents of this community, or visitors to this community lose their life in a fire, that definitely ranks it as one of the worst in the history of the City of Buffalo,” Whtifield said.

A fund has been set up to help Brighon's family pay for her burial. Donations can be made at First Niagara Bank branches.

WBFO's Dan Almasi and Nick Lippa contributed to this report.