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Fire Victim's Brother Speaks About Accident

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WAURIKA Okla_ The brother of Kaylie Howard, the little girl who died tragically in a fire in Waurika last week, is speaking out about his sister's life and death.

Fire investigators determined this week the fire was intentionally set by Kaylie. However, they said she did not intend to harm her family or burn down their home. Christophor Burton, Kaylie's brother, said he wants the world to remember Kaylie for her life and not the way she died. He also wants to clear up some ugly rumors about Kaylie's death.

Burton said that some people are saying that Kaylie actually set herself on fire, which he said is not true. People are also saying drugs were involved, which is also not true.

He said some people called his sister different or strange, whereas he likes to remember her as unique. He admits that Kaylie was dealing with some issues, but he said she was a loving, thoughtful young girl.

Kaylie's brother said her now charred room used to be pink and purple. He said that's a testament to the fact that, although she may have been "unique", she was still a little girl.

"She was very artistic," Burton said. "She loved poetry. She would write some that would have me looking in books like, ‘Where are you getting these from?' She would write the most beautiful songs. She could sing."

He said the night of the fire still haunts him.

"I thought I heard her holler for help," Burton said. "Now I know that it was her that hollered ‘Help.'"

During the fire, Burton kicked a door open to try and see if his little sister was still inside the house. He said the flames and smoke were overwhelming, and he wasn't able to get inside the room. What Burton didn't know at the time is young Kaylie was hiding in this closet, trying to shield herself from the fire.

He said hindsight is 20/20, but he admits that his sister had played with fire before during times of emotional crisis.

"A week before, she was outside, and she had burnt some letters and stuff," Burton said. "She was kind of upset over some things with her real father. She had burnt some things. In 20-degree weather, gas is not going to expand and explode like in 80 degrees inside. There was a flash. The only place she was burnt was on her arms. The smoke got her. That gave us comfort knowing that she did not burn, and she did not intend to burn the house down."

He said Kaylie's death is a tragic lesson for any family that has a child going through a tough time.

"Anytime your child's going through any type of crisis, it doesn't matter how small. Stay with them, whether they're your brother, your sister, your cousin, or anything. If they have the slightest kind of crisis, stay with them. I feel bad that I didn't."

Burton did not go into detail about Kaylie's state of mind the day of the fire. He did say Kaylie's death is also a reminder for other children about the dangers of playing with fire.

He and his family want to thank the people in the community who reached out to them during this difficult time.

 

 

 

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