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Thread: House fire kills 3 sisters age 10 to 13, While father tries to save them

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    Senior Member boogieman's Avatar
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    House fire kills 3 sisters age 10 to 13, While father tries to save them

    GRAHAM, Wash. - Three children are dead after a house fire. Their father tried desperately to save the girls, but could only watch in horror as flames consumed his home.

    Investigators say the girls were visiting their father, Leonard Ballard, for the weekend and everyone was in bed when the fire broke out.

    It appears to have been burning for quite some time before anyone noticed, and by that time it was too late.

    Neighbors said the scene was anguishing.

    “He was just yelling, ‘My children, my children! I couldn't get them out!" And the fire department's running in,” said Lorrie McGinnis.

    The fire was reported at around midnight. The top floor of the home was engulfed in flames.

    Firefighters believe by the time they arrived on the scene, the girls had already died.

    Their father tried to get to his children, but the heat kept him back.

    He then put a ladder up to their bedroom windows, but flames pushed him back again.

    The roof eventually collapsed into the rooms below.

    “It was engulfed. It was a nightmare. It looked like a whirlwind of flames,” said McGinnis.

    Among the ashes, firefighters found the bodies of 13-year-old Kateylyn Ballard, who attends Bethel Jr. High, and her two little sisters, 11-year-old Emily and 10-year-old Michela. Both attended Pioneer Valley Elementary.

    Joe McGinnis said the girls were always together.

    “It's just horrible how something so simple can turn into something so horrible,” he said.

    “Our hearts are with the family and we feel their pain,” said Elizabeth Higgins.

    Firefighters are setting up a fund for the family. If you'd like to donate, you can call the Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy at 253-564-7848 and ask about the "Ballard Family Fund."
    http://www.nwcn.com/topstories/stories/NW_101908WAB_graham_fatal_fire_SW.12adcc22d.html

    I would REALLY hate to be the father right now... I cannot even imagine how he feels right now.


    :-(R.I.P :-(

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    Moderator nestlequikie's Avatar
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    Re: House fire kills 3 sisters age 10 to 13, While father tries to save them

    [quote author=boogieman link=topic=16776.msg1046689#msg1046689 date=1224485809]
    http://www.nwcn.com/topstories/stories/NW_101908WAB_graham_fatal_fire_SW.12adcc22d.html

    I would REALLY hate to be the father right now... I cannot even imagine how he feels right now.


    R.I.P

    [/quote]

    Oh 

    The nightmare of every parent with weekend visitation to the other parent.

    I can't imagine how either parent must feel.

    RIP Katelyn, Emily and Michela
    I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to. - Donnie Darko

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    Senior Member leapfreak's Avatar
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    Re: House fire kills 3 sisters age 10 to 13, While father tries to save them

    That poor family.  I can't imagine what it must be like to lose one child let alone three all in one go whilst you are powerless to help them.

    RIP Girls

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    Re: House fire kills 3 sisters age 10 to 13, While father tries to save them

    That"s my  worst nightmare. Something happening to one of my kids, & I can't do anything to stop it. Jeez poor family .

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    Senior Member boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: House fire kills 3 sisters age 10 to 13, While father tries to save them

    The mother of the girls speaks about her loss :-(:

    GRAHAM, Wash. - Judith Mitchell-Ballard calls her three daughters her angels - angels that left this earth far too soon.

    “I expected to worry about them graduating and learning to drive. I expected to worry about those things not burying the three of them together,” she said.

    Firefighters say the sisters probably never woke up when smoke and fire filled their father's house early Sunday morning during a weekend visit.

    Their mom says she got a text message from her oldest daughter just hours before the fire.

    “I got a text that day, ‘What are you doing mom? I'm, moving my sisters apart because their fighting" and she says "What else is new? You know,” she said.

    Judith describes her 11-year-old daughter Emily as the sensitive one of the bunch.

    “But never held a grudge. The kids could say something mean to her one day and she's out playing with them. ‘I've forgiven you, let's play.’"

    Her baby was 10 year old Michela.

    “Michaela was the tomboy. Couldn't sit still to save her life,” said Judith.

    And her eldest daughter, 13-year-old Katelyn, was an honor student and church volunteer who helped care for the homeless. But most of all, she was her mom's best friend.

    “And there's never going to be a way to fill that void,” said Judith.

    And as people came to pay their respects at the fire scene, Judith said she hopes that her daughters death will not be in vain.

    She knows the nightmare she's living is every parent's worst fear, and she prays the deaths of her "angels" will inspire parents everywhere to hold their kids a little closer tonight, the way she wishes she could hold hers.

    “They have a purpose. And if the purpose is to draw other families closer, to tell them to take the time for their kids show them that you care and love them then it's all worth it. My three angels, they're angels for everyone,” she said.

    A fund for the family has now been established. The best way to get money directly to the family is to call the Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy at 253-564-7848, where you can contribute by credit card to the Ballard family fund. You can also mail a check to Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy, 6312 19th St. West, Suite C, Tacoma, WA 98466.

    The Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy Web site is www.t-pcc.org

    Also, a fundraiser will be held Saturday at Inni's (in the 2 Wheel Blues Showroom) at 6008 Mt. Tacoma Dr. SW in Lakewood. The event starts at 9 p.m. The cover charge is $5 and organizers say donations will be taken at the door and during the event.

    Fire cause not yet known

    On Monday the father of those girls returned to the fire scene to help investigators try to determine a cause.

    Leonard Ballard walked fire officials through his home late Monday afternoon.

    Investigators said the bedrooms where the children were sleeping have been ruled out as the point of origin for the fire.

    The ATF was also on the scene. Those investigators are only involved to lend additional expertise. The fire does not appear to be suspicious.

    Fire officials say it will likely be at least two or three more days before an official cause is determined.

    Firefighters are setting up a fund for the family. To make a donation to the family, call the Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy at 253-564-7848 and ask about the "Ballard Family Fund." You can also mail a check to Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy, 6312 19th St. West, Suite C, Tacoma, WA 98466. The Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy Web site is www.t-pcc.org.

    Also, a fundraiser will be held Saturday at Inni's (in the 2 Wheel Blues Showroom) at 6008 Mt. Tacoma Dr. SW in Lakewood. The event starts at 9 p.m. The cover charge is $5 and organizers say donations will be taken at the door and during the event.

    You can make donations to the Ballard Family Fund at any Washington Mutual Bank branch.

    A memorial service for the girls will take place on Sunday, October 26 at 3:30 p.m. at Bethel High School.

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