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Community Mourns Loss of Infant Girl in a Weekend Fire

A community still in shock after a fatal fire claims the life of a six month old baby girl. The infant was killed in her Utica home on Dudley Avenue. The Utica Fire Department responded to the fire around 10:00 AM Sunday but it was too late.
A community still in shock after a fatal fire claims the life of a six month old baby girl. The infant was killed in her Utica home on Dudley Avenue. The Utica Fire Department responded to the fire around 10:00 AM Sunday but it was too late.
The smoke has cleared but the Utica house is blocked off with caution tape. The damage is extensive and what's worse, the family is part of a huge Somali Bantu community and family members and friends say they just can't believe what happened.
"Everyone is shocked right now because we don't know how this happened," said Abdullahi Majeni, a local Somali Bantu community member.
"I am so sad about this accident that happened yesterday for my family but it was an accident but we don't have nothing to do, it was an accident,” said a member of the victim’s family Osman Osman.
These are just two members of the large local Somali Bantu community in mourning over the loss of six-month-old Marian Omar. They say they've never experienced an accident like this one.
"In Africa, different house, these houses over here and the houses in Africa are very different because we build our houses with stone,” says Osman.
The other people living in the home including the baby's parents and four siblings got out unharmed. The Utica Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the deadly fire. Neighbors and friends say the house is hard to look at and is a constant reminder that the Somali Bantu and Utica community lost a member far too early.
"I don't know if it’ll be staying here because it's really sad and kind of scary and I don’t think it'll ever be the same again, I don't know,” said the victim’s next door neighbor Mariam Muya.
Just outside the home the family has setup a small but precious memorial for baby Marian made up of some flowers and her stuffed animals. The family says people from all over the country from the Somali Bantu community will be coming to pay their respects in a funeral that lasts about seven days.

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