A fast-moving fire tore through a Camden rowhouse early Saturday morning, killing a 4-year-old girl and sending up to 10 people to the hospital.

The girl, identified by family members as Laiyannie Williams, was known around the neighborhood as bubbly and friendly.  She was killed in a fire that neighbors said started just after midnight on the 1200 block of Morton Street. Five adults and five children were taken to nearby Cooper University Hospital, but no further information on their conditions was available.

A 4-year-old girl was killed in a Camden rowhouse blaze July 29, 2017. Family and friends, including the girl’s grandmother (wrapped in blanket) gathered next door.
Frank Kummer
A 4-year-old girl was killed in a Camden rowhouse blaze July 29, 2017. Family and friends, including the girl’s grandmother (wrapped in blanket) gathered next door.

"She's got the biggest personality ever," a woman who identified herself only as Williams' grandmother said of Laiyannie. "She was always happy. She was always friendly and outgoing."

The grandmother said the girl, whom she called "Laiboogie," turned 4 in January and was enrolled in day care.  A man who identified himself as the girl's father stood nearby, seeming in shock.

Neighbor Bob Bak points to the burned out downstairs windows. He said he was asleep upstairs when he was awakened by the fire.
Frank Kummer / Staff
Neighbor Bob Bak points to the burned out downstairs windows. He said he was asleep upstairs when he was awakened by the fire.

Bob Bak, who lives next door, grew tearful in his living room as he spoke of the fire's deadly results.

"It's a shame, it's a shame," he said, adding that he did not know the family well.

Bak said the fire woke him just after midnight.

"I heard some noises, I smelled smoke," he said. "I looked out and saw orange and knew there was a bad fire. I called 911."

Bak described the fire as "intense but short."

"It had burned for a good 30 minutes," he said. "But that's all it took. I'm all upset that a kid died."

Dan Keashen, a spokesman for the Camden County Police Department, said the fire began in the first-floor living room.

The city fire marshal is still investigating the cause, but there is no indication the fire was suspicious, Keashen said.  The home had working smoke detectors.

Multiple residences on the block had to be evacuated. The Red Cross was on the scene.   Firefighters from  Camden and Collingswood put out the fire.