3 year old Streator girl killed by arsonist

By Joe Bennett

August 6, 2012 Updated Aug 7, 2012 at 7:19 PM CDT

STREATOR, Ill -- Family members of three-year-old Saranadee Grace Green-Libby say she was a joy to everyone she met.

Hers was the only life lost early Sunday morning as fire spread quickly through the apartment building where she lived in Streator.

"You never saw her not smile or angry," says her uncle, Jeremy Whitfield. "She was a beautiful little girl."

Saranadee is survived by her mother, Loretta Libby, and four-year-old sister, Harmonee.

Her uncle says Harmonee had just begun to say her sister's name, now she's confused about where she is.

"She'll say, 'Harmonee Taliah Green' and 'Saranadee Grace Green' and she knows her birthday and at only three-and-a-half, so she was extremely smart," Whitfield says as he holds back his tears.

According to family, Saranadee's mother and grandmother planned to jump out the window as the fire spread from a unit below in order to catch the children.

But both adults were badly injured in the fall.

Loretta's boyfriend kicked out the window to rescue Harmonee.

When that happened, Saranadee ran off, lost in the smoke and fire.

By the time firefighters got to her a few minutes later, it was too late.

Lieutenant Joe Scarbaery with the Streator Fire Department says investigators are not yet sure if this fire is connected to other recent arsons set to vacant buildings throughout Streator.

"With the accelerants used and the building materials now, it just went up real fast," says Lieutenant Scarbaery. "To the person or the people that are responsible for these arsons, please stop. It's gone too far already. It's already cost a life. Please stop."

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