Throgs Neck remembers father, daughter who died in fire 1 year ago

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THROGS NECK -

The Throgs Neck community on Monday remembered the father and daughter lost in a fire that happened one year ago.

Nelson Rojas, 62, and his daughter Yolanda, 13, died last January after police say a hot plate malfunctioned, sparking a deadly fire in their home on Dewey Avenue.

Loved ones gathered to pray and console each other at a memorial Monday. Yolanda's dance instructor organized the event, which some of her classmates attended.

Community members released balloons to honor the two. Yolanda's mother came to the houses earlier in the day, posting a T-shirt with a picture of her daughter on it.

Those close to Rojas say he went to bat for his daughter when she was bullied. 

"She always got bullied for no reason. And even when she got bullied, she would help other people who were bullied," says Sierra Rodriguez, Yolanda's best friend.

Classmates say Yolanda dreamed of being a doctor when she grew up.

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