Local News

Twelve-Year-Old Dies In Wayne County Fire

Posted March 1, 2004

— A weekend fire ripped through a Wayne County home and tore a family apart.

Two parents escaped with their lives Saturday. But they could not save their daughter as flames consumed their mobile home.

Deputies said the smoke alarm woke Chris and Rhonda Long. They got out, then tried to go back for their daughter, 12-year-old Blair.

When they could not reach her, they ran next door to have a neighbor call 9-1-1.

"They were at the door, shouting and screaming that their baby was inside," neighbor Kendy Breckel said.

"All the flames were right there coming out of her room. We busted windows, and we did what we thought best to try to get her out. But it was just too much."

Firefighters eventually found Blair's body in her bedroom closet.

Investigators said they do not know what started the fire. But they do not think it is suspicious.

"She was special," Dennis Wade said of his niece, Blair. "She knew no stranger. She loved her mom and dad, her aunts. She loved everybody.

"There was nothing anybody could do. It was just her time to go."

Blair was a 6th grader at Norwayne Middle School. She was on the basketball team and her family said she made the winning shot in the team's championship game.

"She won't ever be forgotten," Dennis Wade said.

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