Clockwise from top left: Trinity Hughes, Tai'zah Hughes, Taty'ana Hughes and Tyrese Hughes (Source: Marie Hughes Clark)
Theresa Hughes (Source: Marie Hughes Clark)
Marie Hughes Clark
NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – New Albany fire officials said January 4 fire that killed three children under the age of six was caused by combustible items next to a space heater.
The victims - Trinity Hughes, age 2, Tyrese Hughes, age 4, and Tai'zah Hughes, age 6 - were found dead in the same bed. Their sister, Taty'ana Hughes, age 5, was rescued by a firefighter and had to be resuscitated.
Marie Hughes Clark said her daughter, Theresa, was smoking a cigarette on a friend's front porch while her children were sleeping in the front bedroom of the house. She smelled burning and then heard a pop.
"It wasn't until she heard a popping sound that made her turn around and she saw the flames," said Hughes Clark. "When she opened it, it just pushed some force, like smoke and flames just pushed her. She went to the window, she just screamed, and people were coming out of their houses."
Neighbors couldn't get in the house. Firefighters were able to run through the back of the house, which is how they retrieved Taty'ana. She was rushed to Riley's Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and put in a medical coma.
Taty'ana's lungs have cleared and she has begun the process of a series of skin grafts. She suffered third-degree burns over 20% of her body.
It's believed Taty'ana's asthma woke her up because of the smoke, but she fell as she tried to escape.
"The way her injuries are it's like the fire was behind her and when she fell on her left side because there's more damage on her right side," said Hughes.
Funeral arrangements for the Hughes children have not been made. A fund has been set up to help pay for the funeral and medical expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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