Days after a fire in Lebanon, Mo., killed five young children, the mother of two of them was recovering from skin-grafting surgery after suffering severe burns to much of her body, family members said.
Alexandra “Alee” Malleck, 20, remained heavily sedated and unaware of the tragedy, her mother, Lori Carrillo, told the Kansas City Star.
“She doesn't know anything that's happened,” Carrillo told the newspaper. “I'm not even sure how we go about (telling her). ... Something as a family we'll just have to do.”
“She doesn't know anything that's happened. I'm not even sure how we go about (telling her). ... Something as a family we'll just have to do.”
As of Saturday night, a GoFundMe page created for the family had raised about $1,400 of a $5,000 goal for funeral costs and other expenses.
The fire broke out Wednesday morning in the mobile home where Malleck’s brother-in-law, Kelley Hunt, lived. Hunt had asked Malleck to babysit his three children while he went to work, so Malleck brought her own two children there, Kansas City’s Fox 4 reported.
All five children died in the blaze: Malleck’s son Andre, 1, and daughter Patience, 6 months, and Hunt’s sons Benjamin, 1, and Ethan, 5, and daughter Maeanna, 2.
Some neighbors and a Missouri state trooper had tried to rescue the children before firefighters arrived, but the flames were too intense, Lebanon Fire Chief Sam Schneider told Fox 4.
Schneider said the first firefighter to arrive entered the home through a window to try and save the children, but was pushed back by the flames and smoke.
"He did what we're trained to do, what we're called to do," the chief said. "He took every effort he could to try to locate the victims."
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, Schneider said.
Bobbie Brown, a relative of the family, told the Laclede County Record that the family was thankful for the love and support they have received from the community since the tragedy.
“The overwhelming response from the public to our family comforts our hearts,” she wrote in a Facebook post to the newspaper.