MARION, Ind. — An eight-year-old Marion girl is in the hospital breathing through a machine after a fire at her home early Thursday morning.
Kaylin McGhee was pulled unresponsive from her second story window after her brother pointed fire crews to where she was at. Kaylin’s mother, Lindsey McGhee, said her daughter is at Riley Children’s, the outlook is bleak but she said doctors told her there is still hope.
Lindsey called firefighters to her home on W. 2nd Street in Marion. Crews said the call came in at 2:37 and they were on scene by 2:44.
Lindsey said she woke up because she heard her son Jesse screaming. She tried to get upstairs to where her children were but the smoke was too thick.
Lindsey then called 911 and her boyfriend Wally Duncan who was at work at the time. She found her eleven-year-old son Jesse had crawled from his bedroom window out onto the roof.
Lindsey said she threw him up a grill spatula to break threw his sister’s window, he did but was not able to get her out.
Wally and Marion Police Officers also tried multiple times to get up to the second floor but the smoke and fire continued to keep them out.
Lindsey’s across the street neighbor Jamaise Wilson saw nearly everything. She said she woke up when she smelled smoke from her bedroom.
”Heard screaming, looked outside and smoke was rolling out of the window,” Wilson said.
Wilson saw the chaos as family and police waited for the fire department.
”It was terrifying, the father was running around and Jesse was saying that his sister was inside. The police officers were here but nobody could get to the little girl until the fire department came,” she said.
Marion Fire Chief Paul David said crews got their seven minutes after the call came in.
“We had a suppression crew enter through the first floor and a search and rescuer go up top to retrieve the boy and look for the girl,” David said.
He said crews saw Jesse on the roof and he pointed them right to where his sister was.
”He had the face of danger right there with him, had himself covered yet thought of his sister in the adjacent room to try and help retrieve her,” David said.
Firefighters were able to pull off the window, frame and all, and bring Kaylin out. David said she was unresponsive.
Wilson remembers firefighters calling for paramedics.
”The fire department was saying come on she’s not breathing,” she said.
Kaylin was taken to a local hospital and then flown to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indy.
David said it appears the fire started in the center of the home and the smoke billowed up into the children’s rooms. Investigators are still looking into a cause.
Wally said he left for work at midnight and everything seemed fine. The family is not sure how it could have started.
The family is also left wondering why alarms did not go off. Lindsey said they thought their security system had smoke detectors. Chief David said, so far, investigators have not found any smoke detectors in the house. David hopes everyone will check the smoke detectors in their own homes.
”Make sure that they’re operational, if you do install them, maintain the battery in them,” he said.
Lindsey and Wally are by Kaylin’s side at Riley Children’s. They said doctors are monitoring her for seizures and hoping she has a quiet night Thursday. Lindsey said doctors will do more tests on Friday. The community is praying.
”Just praying for the family and the little girl for a full recovery,” Wilson said.