It says that they lived in a really awful apartment that had writing all over the walls and then it burned down so the setting made the story really sad.
Setting affects the characters by them living in an awful apartment and there dad running away. It's so much for the narrator that she thought it was just easier to say he died.
I'm sorry for running away. :(
She just becomes numb to the fact that she knows her dad is not coming back, but when she starts going to school and making friends and then later in the story the egg hatches it turns out to be a phoenix egg, then her dad shows up at her grandma's door.
change in events
The conflict in the exposition was that her dad had ran away and then her families apartment had burnt down.
It says that her dad comes back and apologizes for leaving. The conflict in the story was that her dad was gone and not coming back.
When she found the egg and when the apartment burnt down. Because if the apartment hadn't burnt down she would have never found the egg.