Family remembers life of daughter, sister, mother

By Perry Russom

February 18, 2014 Updated Feb 18, 2014 at 8:09 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A family is left with heavy hearts after their daughter couldn't escape a raging fire in Johnson City Sunday morning.

Johnson City Police said 26-year-old Sarah Wenzinger died when a fire spread through an apartment building at 71 Baker Street.

"My son kept saying to me, 'Dad she didn't make it. She didn't make it, dad,'" said Wenzinger's father Alex Reece.

Wenzinger was asleep in her apartment building with her boyfriend, James McCoy, when a fire started from a damaged light fixture on the back porch.

"I jumped in my car and drove about 95 miles an hour all the way there," said Alex Reece.

Wenzinger's older brother, Michael Reece, was also sleeping in the apartment after a night of babysitting her 6-year-old son.

After the fire woke them up, Michael Reece and McCoy rushed to get the boy out of the building.

McCoy was hospitalized with burns to his neck and head, but Wenzinger couldn't escape. She died of smoke inhalation in the bedroom.

There were no working smoke detectors in the apartment.

"She did what she had to to live in this world," said Michael Reece. "That's all you can do, really."

Wenzinger's father said she was starting to turn around a once troubled life, but that life is now over.

"Thank you for loving your father and your brothers and your sisters," said Alex Reece. "Thank you for taking care of people you didn't have to."

A funeral service will be held on Thursday afternoon at Vestal Center United Methodist Church.

Calling hours are between 10:00-11:00 a.m. with the funeral to follow.