Teen who raced up 14 floors to save toddler from burning building dies

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(WABC/KAKE) -

A 3-year-old girl and the young hero who tried to save her from a burning building over the weekend have died. 

WABC reports 19-year-old Lucas Silverio was awakened early Sunday morning by a fire racing through his building in the Bronx, New York.

After helping his grandmother out, Lucas raced back up 14 floors and carried out a badly burned 3-year-old girl, who died the next day. Lucas died Wednesday.

"He was a wonderful human being," his cousin, Jesse Alvarez, said. "A heart of gold. His heart was the size, it couldn't fit in his body."

His family says the teen and his cousin, Jeury Mendoza, were carrying their grandmother down 15 floors when Lucas spotted the baby in distress.

"Lucas told Jeury, 'Bro take mamma downstairs. I'm gonna go back and get the little girl,'" said Alvarez.

Lucas went back into a smoke-filled stairwell and up 14 floors where that baby got separated from her mother. He brought her to firefighters and EMTs. But there was still danger.

"Upon retrieving the little girl there was an explosion that rendered him unconscious," said Alvarez.

Investigators believe someone might have thrown something combustible into the trash compactor, but the exact cause remains under investigation. Eleven others were hurt in the fire.

Lucas and the girl suffered burns over 80% of their bodies. 

Lucas was in college studying to be a health aide. A GoFundMe page was set up to help his family with medical bills.

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