Suspected arson leads to girl's death

May 11, 2008 8:29:40 PM PDT
A Mother's Day catastrophe unfolded in Trenton, New Jersey. A woman lost her daughter in a house fire.Flames hit the home on the 200 block of Walnut Street around 1:00 this morning, claiming the life of a 10-year-old girl.

Investigators say it was a fast moving fire. Heavy damage was sustained throughout the building. Detectives suspect arson... one reason being that the fire originated in the front door area. Investigators have sent multiple samples to the New Jersey State Police crime lab.

Relatives of Qua-Daishai Hopkins voiced disgust after the little girl died in her burning home. Investigators say it appears the 10-year-old tried to escape out her third floor bedroom window but the smoke overwhelmed her.

Family friend Eunice Anderson tells Action News, "Qua Daishai was a loving, caring little girl. No matter who she played with she was always happy."

Qua-Daishai's mother, Francis Hopkins, was able to escape. She was found in the front yard. Investigators say she doesn't know how she got there, but they believe she leaped from the 2nd floor.

Qua-Daishai's friends brought balloons to the fire ravaged home, but crime scene tape prevented the children from leaving them.

Homicide and arson investigators are handling the case. Sources say the fire may have been revenge because a former boyfriend of Hopkins' cooperated with authorities. Neighbors say they heard a loud boom, and within seconds the front door was engulfed in flames.

Qua Daishai has two siblings. Fortunately, they were staying with relatives or the death toll could be much higher.

Francis Hopkins was taken to a local hospital. She was treated and released.