Unfortunately, the mother couldn't save her daughter who died the following day.
A mother from Downey passed away trying to save her 12-year-old daughter from a fire that occurred in their home. The heartbroken family is having a tough time coming to terms with the reality. "She took every bit of strength to go in that house to attempt to save her," said Jonathan Gardilcic, who lost his sister and his niece. "I wish I could've been here to help," she said reports ABC7.
The house fire started late Tuesday night near the area of Dinsdale Street and Tweedy Lane. Vanessa Kaimimoku, and her 12-year-old daughter, Kayla Kaimimoku Diaz, were upstairs when the fire broke out. When the firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a garage and the living room engulfed in fire. Investigators are still trying to determine the reason for the fire.
The firefighters said that it was very difficult to find the victims inside the house as the smoke was very thick. "Conditions inside of the structure, they reported zero visibility and high heat on the second floor," said Battalion Chief Jorge Villanueva. The mother died on the scene and she couldn't save her daughter, Kayla who died the following day. The young girl's grandmother was also injured and is recovering in the ICU after a neighbor rescued her from the flames. Family members thanked the people who helped her. "Thank you so much," said Gardilcic. "If it wasn't for you, my mother would probably be in the worst condition."
Fire officials said the blaze appeared to have started in the garage and then spread to the apartment. Crews extinguished the flames in 25 minutes and prevented them from spreading to adjacent units.
Gardilcic wrote on the GoFundMe page: "My sister Vannessa was a kind loving soul and a fierce STRONG single mother to her 4 children: Eric, 19; Rylee, 18; Kayla, who was also diabetic,12; and Inessa, 10." Describing the situation Vannessa's oldest son said that "while they were sleeping they heard screams & they & their mother ran out of the house. During this time a neighbor rushed to my mother's apartment and broke the door down as it was locked my mother did not want to get out of the burning apartment as Kayla was trapped in the second-floor bathroom and was yelling for her to please come down. He saved her by pulling her out before the fire grew, and she suffered only 15 % body burns. As the neighbor carried my mother out my mother yelled 'Mi Nina' the very moment Vanessa heard this she ran into the fire to attempt to bring her daughter out... the fire engulfed them both."
A mother in Downey died trying to save her 12-year-old daughter from a fire that ripped through their apartment earlier this week, according to family members. The mother was pronounced dead on the scene, and 12-year-old Kayla died the following day. 💔 https://t.co/LMkszDcSGI pic.twitter.com/tcKC7lfyqH— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) December 23, 2022
Meanwhile, people have been stopping by to offer their condolences and drop off cards, flowers, and toys. A tearful Gardilcic said he's grateful for the community's support. "I miss you, we all love you, and all of our love is still here for you. I hope you can feel it and hear it," he said.
https://abc7.com/downey-apartment-fire-mother-and-daughter-killed-vanessa-kaimimoku-kayla/12604044/Mother died while trying to save 12-year-old during fire that ripped through their apartment in Downey, family says - ABC7 Los Angeles
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe