BRONX, NY – A 13-year-old girl with special needs tragically lost her life in a house fire in the Bronx on Saturday, just hours before her 14th birthday. Skylar Michilin, who was wheelchair-bound, was asleep in her second-floor bedroom when the fire erupted around 4:15 p.m. in the family’s home on Boyd Avenue in the Wakefield neighborhood.
Erdene Kims, a 21-year-old neighbor, recounted the horrifying scene. She and another woman were outside when they noticed the flames. Despite their immediate call to the fire department and attempts by others to reach Skylar, the fire’s intensity made it impossible to get to the teenager.
The fire was eventually brought under control at 5 p.m., but Skylar was pronounced dead at the scene. Another individual sustained minor injuries in the incident, according to the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).
Skylar’s mother, Rosemarie Thompson, shared her heartbreaking last moments with her daughter. Skylar had gone to rest in her room shortly before the fire started. Thompson had spent the morning caring for her daughter, feeding her a lunch of her favorite McDonald’s French fries. The family had been planning a celebration for Skylar’s birthday the following day.
Skylar, who was nonverbal and had Down’s syndrome, attended school at P10 in Throggs Neck. She had a deep love for music, particularly Christmas songs, and was known to start listening to them as early as September. Her favorite artist was Mariah Carey.
The family had moved into their Wakefield home just 11 months prior, according to a neighbor. Skylar was remembered by her neighbors as a friendly and outgoing girl who had a special bond with her brother. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.