Griffin, a onetime friend of Billie Holiday whose voice has often been often compared to the legendary singer's, sang with the rhythm and blues groups the Enchanters and the Del-Tones in the 1950s, and appeared regularly at Harlem's Blue Book Club in the 1970s and '80s. She recorded three albums for Muse Records and Savant in the 1990s.
According to the Daily News, Griffin has taken in a series of foster children since moving 40 years ago to Mount Vernon, in Westchester County, New York. The fire, which started when one of the children knocked over a candle, caused about $15,000 in damage to the home. Griffin's insurance has lapsed, the paper says.
Griffin is now staying with a former foster child. The Jazz Foundation of America, which helps impoverished musicians, plans a benefit concert for the singer early next year. Contributions can also be made through the foundation at (212) 245-3999.