Anoka County Sheriff's Lt. Daniel Douglas told the Star Tribune that Ty'rah White, 6, died Tuesday night at the Hennepin County Medical Center. Her sister, 9-year-old Taraji, remained in critical condition Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman told the Star Tribune.
"My baby Ty'rah, she was such a bright kid. Very bright," the girls' mother, Essie McKenzie, told WCCO-TV. "She loved people. She had a huge personality."
McKenzie told WCCO-TV she let her daughters keep sleeping Tuesday while she ran into Walmart to grab something. Sheriff's office officials said McKenzie cooperated with law officers at the scene.
Original report: Two children were critically injured in a Walmart parking lot Tuesday morning in Fridley, Minnesota, when the van they were in caught on fire.
The girls, ages 6 and 9, were in the vehicle waiting for their mother to return from the store when the van parked next to theirs burst into flames, KARE-TV reported.
The fire quickly engulfed the vehicle, trapping the girls inside, the news station reported.
Emergency responders managed to rescue the children, but they suffered severe injuries in the fire, including burns and smoke inhalation. They’re hospitalized in critical condition.
The owner of the van that initially burst into flames was arrested on suspicion of "negligent fires," the Anoka County Sheriff's Office said, according to KARE.
"The fire was very intense, an awful lot of smoke and flames. There were windows exploding and even parts from inside the vehicle that were shooting outside as far as 30 or 40 feet from the vehicle," Lt. Jim Mork told the station.
The children’s mother was inside the store for possibly as long as an hour. It’s unclear whether she’ll face charges in the case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.