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Fourth child dies from Imlay City mobile home fire

A young child has died from a mobile home fire a day after the blaze claimed the lives of three other children.

Imlay City Police Chief Scott Pike said Wednesday that the 28-day-old girl, named Keyairah Kelly, died from injuries sustained in the fire after she was taken Tuesday to the University of Michigan Health System’s burn center.


Keyairah joins her siblings, Keyanna, 3, Keyondre, 5, and Keith, 6, who also died in the fire that began around 3:05 a.m. Tuesday in the Maple Grove mobile home park in the 2000 block of South Almont, according to police. 

Pike said Wednesday three children died from smoke inhalation. He also said Michigan State Police fire marshals continue to investigate the cause of the fire. It wasn’t clear Wednesday if there was an alternative heating source or if there were working fire detectors in the home, he added.

Also Wednesday, officials also released the names of the injured adults. They identified the children’s mother as Krystal Whitney, 29, and their father as Keith Kelley, 42. 

Whitney, Kelley and their 19-month-old boy Keyshawn. were taken to the Hurley Medical Center in Flint. They were listed in critical condition Tuesday, suffering from burns and smoke inhalation.

Whitney, 29, was hospitalized at Lapeer McLaren Hospitaland is in stable condition with severe burns on more than 20 percent of her body, police said Wednesday. 

Kelley remains in critical condition with extensive severe burns and is unconscious at Hurley Hospital with Whitney and Keyshawn, who has severe burns to his back.

Imlay City Fire Chief Rick Horton said Wednesday firefighters worked to rescue the family by hoisting each other up through one of the blazing mobile home’s windows. Once inside, firefighters grabbed members of the family and handed them through the window to first responders outside.

Firefighters found the 3-year-old and the 5-year-old sleeping in a bedroom with their father at the back of the home, he said. The two youngest children were found in cribs and the 6-year-old was in a bedroom at the front of the home.

Pike praised the firefighters, his police officers and all the other first responders were involved in the rescue and put out the fire.

Keith Kelley and four of his children. (Photo: GoFundMe)

“You have no idea of the heroism, especially of the firefighters,” he said. “They threw one of their guys through a window to get to the kids.” 

Horton said the scene and its aftermath shook all of the public safety officers involved.

“It’s the most tragic thing I’ve seen in my career,” Horton said. “And I’ve been doing this for 38 years.”

Jessica Shimmell, who said she has known Whitney for 16 years, launched a GoFundMe page to aid the family’s recovery. As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, the page had raised $17,000.

On Wednesday, Pike said he is aware a number of GoFundMe pages have been started in the family’s name. He said he would prefer people make to donations to a fund the family set up at the Imlay City branch of Lakestone Bank & Trust. The bank is located at 1875 S. Cedar St. and the phone number is (810) 724-4652.

He also said St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is also collecting clothing and goods for the family. Donations can be dropped off at the church, which is located at 200 North Cedar Street. The church’s phone number is (810) 724-1200.

Imlay City is in Lapeer County and about 50 miles north of Detroit. It has about 3,500 residents.
Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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