Kokomo mother remembers two young girls who died in Christmas Eve house fire

KOKOMO, Ind. – The Kokomo community is grieving the loss of two young girls and their mother is reminding everyone this Christmas Eve to not take your loved ones for granted.

“You’re never promised a tomorrow,” the girl’s mother, Kelley Jones, said. “Love your family, love who you have around you and cherish the moments you do have, because you’re not promised tomorrow.”

12-year-old Alexis Jones and 10-year-old Mercedes Jones died Saturday in an early-morning house fire in Kokomo.

Smoke alarms woke up Kelley Jones and her family around 3:15 a.m.

“Heavy smoke. Couldn’t see. My kids were crying, screaming,” Jones said.

Jones and her fiancé rushed out of bed to help her two young boys, 11 and 8 years old, to safety. They also were able to get to the bedroom of her youngest daughter who is 9 and escort her out of the home.

However, by the time they were attempting to get to Alexis’ and Mercedes’ bedroom, the fire had grown too big.

“I mean I tried. All the kids tried to help. There was just no saving them. After some point it just became too much, too unbearable, where I couldn’t go back up the stairs,” Jones said. “We tried breaking out the front window for Mercedes, but she wouldn’t jump out it. She was too scared. Alexis, she had no response, no nothing.”

The home was destroyed and Jones and her family planned to spend Christmas Eve in a Kokomo hotel.

Instead of thinking about the dozens of presents they had under the tree, the family is trying to focus on the good things about the two girls.

“They were fun. They were loving. They were caring. They were both outgoing,” Jones said. “Loved to spend time with family and friends. Loved animals. Loved to joke. They loved the outdoors. They were always happy. No matter what the circumstance was we always made happy memories, no matter what it was.”

The Kokomo Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire.

The Jones family plans to make funeral arrangements for the two girls on Tuesday.