Parents of 10-month-old that died in Pickerel fire speak out for the first time

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PICKEREL, Wis (WSAW) -- It’s been two weeks since a house fire in the Town of Pickerel left six people dead, including four children.

Tuesday, the parents of the youngest victim talked about the loss of their only child for the first time publicly in an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 7.

“She was the light in my entire world,” cried Mariah Munoz Soto, the mother of 10-month-old, Zoe Munoz Soto, who was the youngest child that died in the fire. “She was my purpose for living and she still will be.”

Eight people were in the home at the time of the fire. Zoe’s parents, Mariah and Viriginia, were the only two that could escape. Both say they did everything they could to rescue those inside the home, but the heavy smoke prevented them from leaving the room they were in.

“It was nothing but darkness. You could barely see anything,” explained Mariah. “I couldn’t even see my own feet.”

Nearly everything Mariah and Virginia had was lost in the fire. Mariah attempted to go back into the home to rescue her daughter but passed out from smoke inhalation; Virginia went back into the home to save her.

By the time the volunteer fire department arrived, it was too dangerous for them to enter the home and all they could do was control the fire from the outside of the building.

“It’s very difficult knowing that I will never get to hold her again. Knowing she will never come back through the door. She was vibrant and magnificent and I never met a child like her in my entire life,” said Mariah.

Zoe would have turned 1-year-old at the end of July. She was laid to rest on July 2 surrounded by family and friends. Her family plans to hold a balloon release ceremony on her birthday to celebrate her life. Her favorite color was yellow and she loved dinosaurs.

Funeral services are scheduled on Saturday for the five other people who were killed in the fire. They include Raymond Michiel, his girlfriend Amanda Bailey-Bocek, their daughter Jazmin Michiel and Amanda's sons, Nathan Bolding and Johnny Bocek.

Police have only positively identified the remains of Zoe, but the obituaries identified the other victims.

A fundraiser to benefit Zoe's family has been set up: Click here to donate