Belmont woman remembers mother, daughter 1 year after fatal fire

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BELMONT -

Friday marks one year since the deadliest fire in New York City in 28 years.

Flames engulfed 2363 Prospect Ave. in Belmont killing 13 people. The building is still closed off and locked up.

Christine Batiz tries to stay away from the block after her mother Maria and 7-month-old daughter Amora were killed in the fire. Batiz says she didn't celebrate Christmas this year because she is still dealing with the loss.

"I just couldn't bring myself to celebrate," Batiz says. "It's just not the same without my mom."

When News 12 spoke exclusively to Batiz last year, she said she grew up on the third floor of the building. She said on Dec. 28, 2017, she was at work and her mother was watching her daughter when the fire broke out. Batiz says she spoke with her mom as they were trapped, hiding in the bathtub and it still haunts her.

"The phone call with my mom...it still keeps replaying in my head," Batiz says. "It's another reason why I don't like seeing the building like this."

Batiz has moved twice in the past year. She is back at work and spends a lot of time at the cemetary visiting her mom and daughter.

"I have dreams of my mother and Amora all the time," she says. "It's bittersweet. It's like a glimpse, real quick, you can feel them but they're not really there."

In this painful year, Batiz's family welcomed new life. Her one sister welcomed a baby girl and her other had a baby boy.

"I have a good support system," she says. "It may not be easy for me and my sisters, but we grew stronger than ever like my mother would always want us to be."

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