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Child killed in house fire identified


July 17, 2013|by Lauren Seabrook | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(WICHITA, Kan.) — Wednesday Update: Officials have identified the six-year-old girl who was killed last week in a fire as Jakara Tioria Lashon Dickson. 


Update: Wichita fire investigators say a six-year-old girl who suffered critical burns in a house fire last week has died.

The girl died Sunday morning.  The other two children have been released from the hospital.  They are in police protective custody during the investigation.

Fire officials have determined the cause of the fire was the child playing with a lighter. 

The girl's mother was arrested on child abandonment charges, though it's unknown at this time if she will face additional charges now.


Wichita Fire Captain Stu Bevis says three girls - ages seven, six and four - were in the home alone when the fire broke out.  They believe the six-year-old was playing with a lighter. Bevis says she was burning some trash and plastic material when her clothes caught fire. 


She is hospitalized with serious burns. 

The seven-year-old was also taken to the hospital, but was treated and released. The four-year-old was not hurt.

"They were really good kids," neighbor Melissa Juliano said. "They loved to be outside and play."

They are in police protective custody as authorities investigate. The mother has beem arrested and booked on charges of aggravated child abandonment among other charges.

Captain Bevis also says the kids' grandmother drove through yards to get to the burning house.  She drove over fire hoses - which is dangerous.

Police arrested the mother for child abandonment.

Mom arrested after children hurt in house fire


A child has been rushed to a Wichita hospital after investigators said he was injured when a lighter started a fire.

Crews were called to the scene in the 3900 block of E. Countryside Plaza, near Hillside and George Washington Blvd., around 7 p.m. Thursday.

Firefighters arrived to find flames and thick smoke showing from the home. Three children, ages 4, 6 and 9 were hurt. Neighbors said the kids had to be pulled out of the home by firefighters.

One of the victims is a 9-year-old boy. He was transported in critical condition. Two others, girls, were taken to the hospital in serious condition for smoke inhalation.

Wichta Fire Battalion Chief Joe Bickel said no adults were at home when the fire broke out.

Firefighters said the children were playing with a lighter in a bedroom.

Firefighters who extinguished the blaze say two neighbors, Kelley Riegle and Louise Thomason, saved the children inside. "They should be very commended," said Bickel.

"They were scared. that's all, and they wanted their mom," said Riegle.

Fire officials say the two young girls, ages four and six, inhaled a lot of smoke. Crews say their nine-year-old brother was critically burned. Medics took all three to St. Francis Hospital. "It could've been very tragic, but the next door neighbors heard the smoke alarm going off. They came outside and small the smoke," said Bickel.

Riegle and Thomason rushed to their neighbor's home. "I realized there was smoke coming out the window. Tried to get the front door open. It wouldn't open. Heard some screaming inside, ran around to the back and I could hear them screaming that they couldn't get out," said Riegle.

Many other neighbors came to the scene shortly after. "I seen a little girl on the font porch and she had her hands on top of her head just screaming terribly bad. I started to walk towards her and all I heard her say was my sisters," said eyewitness Phillip Warn.

The women got all three kids out but not unharmed. "I'm just thanking the lord that we could barely hear that smoke alarm because it was so faint downstairs with the tv going and you could just barely hear it. if I wouldn't have heard it ... yeah. I'm thankful for that," said Riegle.

Neighbors and firefighters saw the kids' mother arrive at the scene while medics were taking the kids away in ambulances. Witnesses say she drove through front yards to get to the house and came out screaming for her kids.

We do not know if police are investigating the situation.

Children playing with lighters spark house fire
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