All 3 victims killed in Easton fire identified

EASTON, Pa. - September 30, 2013

The victims are adults James Strickland and Joy Lozier along with Lozier's four-year-old son Mackai Peters.

The fire was reported around 1:30 a.m. Monday in the 700 block of Spring Garden Street.

"Around 1:30 I hear broken glass. I think someone is breaking into my house," said neighbor Jason Soto.

But Soto soon learned that there was a fire in the adjoining home. He and his son ran downstairs, then saw a woman upstairs holding a baby.

Soto explained, "She's hanging out the third floor window with a child in her arms, screaming. I come out on little ledge and grab kid from her."

He handed the child to his son then went back for her.

"I go back on ledge and she's yelling, 'There's another kid inside, another kid inside!' I tried to open the window to see if we could see the kid, but there was too much smoke coming out."

Strickland, Lozier and Peters, who lived in the upstairs apartment, lost their lives.

In a tragic twist, his death comes only five years after the death of his three-year-old son.

Little Elijah Strickland was killed by Eugenio Torres back in 2008.

Torres, who was dating Elijah's mother at the time, has since been convicted of torturing and murdering the toddler after a night of drinking.

Action News spoke exclusively with James Strickland's niece, Brittney Johnson, who says she will never be able to understand the tragedy that befell the man who showed her nothing but kindness.

"He always made me laugh. If I ever needed my uncle, he was always there. He never turned me down. He always made me smile," Brittney Johnson said.

Another woman was rushed to the burn unit, and the baby was taken to the hospital with minor smoke inhalation.

While the landlord says he believes there were smoke detectors in the unit, the fire chief says they found the mounting brackets, but no working smoke detectors.

The cause of the fire is not yet officially known, but authorities say laundry was being done early this morning and that at this point it appears the blaze may have started in the laundry area around the dryer.

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