Girl, 2, Plummets to Death in Fitchburg

October 5, 2018

Fitchburg police officers speak with a woman outside the Willow Loft apartments at 11 Willow St. after a 2-year-old girl fell from a window late Thursday afternoon. The child died, officials said. Sun / JOHN LOVE Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Mina Corpuz

mcorpuz@sentinel andenterprise.com and Amanda Burke aburke@sentinel andenterprise.com

FITCHBURG -- State and local police are investigating the “unattended death” of a 2-year-old girl who reportedly fell from a window at the Willow Loft apartments at 11 Willow St. Thursday afternoon.

The investigation was launched after police and fire officials responded to reports that the child fell from a window of the four-story apartment building at about 4:25 p.m. according to police radio broadcasts.

“Right now it’s the very onset of the investigation, but I am confirming that a child has passed away at this location,” said Police Chief Ernest Martineau.

Martineau said it was “an unattended death.” Detectives with State Police and local police are investigating.

Paul Jarvey, a spokesman for Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said the office is “investigating the death of a child in Fitchburg.”

Police put up crime tape to block the entry to the apartment and both directions of Willow Street. Two ambulances were on scene for several minutes.

A woman Fire Chief Kevin Roy identified as a relative of the child screamed as she ran toward first responders stationed outside the apartment.

The girl was rushed to UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital in Leominster. The mother of the child was taken separately to the hospital, said Deputy Fire Chief Gregg Normandin.

“By the time I walked over there, they had (the child) in the ambulance,” Roy said.

Rob Hurley, a witness, said he saw a child who was “limp and unresponsive” being carried out of the front door.

William Reitzell, who lives on the second floor of the apartment, said residents of the building are in a somber mood. He said he spoke to a neighbor who worked with the child’s mother and knew the family.

“I go up to the fourth floor just for the view sometimes,” he said. “I can’t even imagine me falling from that height and coming through unscathed, forget about a 2-year-old.”

Mayor Stephen DiNatale, at the scene, said he received information that the child fell out of a window. He offered condolences to the child’s family.

“This is absolutely awful, beyond awful, we wish the family all of our thoughts and all of our prayers,” he said.

Some residents were allowed to return to the building in the evening. The police tape was taken down after 7 p.m. to reopen the road and for cars to return to the building.

Update hourly