Local

Third child dies in Webster apartment fire

Saturday, November 13, 2010

For the first time, we hear an uncle talk about his heroic rescue of loved ones from a deadly apartment fire Thursday in Webster.

It's been a tough time for the Kennedy family after fire ripped through several units at their complex. Eight of his family members were in the apartment at the time, but only five survived.

It started with an overnight fire just before 5am Thursday. Dana Novak, her four kids and two brothers were asleep in their two-story unit at Skylar Point Apartments in Webster.

"I woke up early in the morning as I was coughing and smelling the smoke," said Robert Kennedy, the victims' uncle.

Kennedy was asleep down stairs with his girlfriend and nephew Nicholas. Hearing the cracking wood, he rushed them out of the apartment and ran back in.

"It was so hot," he said. "There was so much smoke you couldn't breathe."

With a wet T-shirt around his mouth, Kennedy's younger brother ran back inside. With smoke being the only visible thing, he felt his way up the stairs to the second floor of the apartment.

"He started feeling and he found my sister's hand and pulled her down the steps," Kennedy said. "By the time she was down there, she was dead. I gave her CPR. I brought her back; she was breathing."

By that time, Webster firefighters began arriving and rushing upstairs.

Kaitlyn, 12, was pulled out and pronounced dead. Eight-year-old Christian also died. Nathaniel, 5, was rushed to the hospital, were he later died.

Their single mother, Dana, was treated and released.

And for an uncle who gave it his all, he wishes he could have done more.

"I don't think I was a hero," Kennedy said. "I think a hero would have got them all out."

The mother, her two brothers and her son, Nicholas, survived.

Webster Fire Department officials say a preliminary investigation suggests the fire started in the common attic above the children's room.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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webster, local, erik barajas
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