The 6-year-old girl who was critically burned in last week’s fire in southeast Wichita died shortly before 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Wichita fire investigator Chris Dugan said Monday.
The girl had been in Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis since Thursday night after she and her two sisters – ages 7 and 4 – were injured in a fire at their house, 3915 E. Countryside. The 7-year-old was treated for smoke inhalation at the hospital and released; the 4-year-old was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and was not hospitalized.
The three girls were home alone when the 6-year-old found a lighter in a bedroom and began setting plastic on fire in the bathroom, investigators said. Her clothes caught on fire.
A smoke alarm alerted two neighbor women, who got the girls out of the house. The 6-year-old had second- and third-degree burns on 40 percent of her body, authorities said.
The case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges against the mother, police Capt. Brent Allred said. He would only say that there were no adults at home at the time of the fire.
An initial report from neighbors who said the children’s mother was visiting a friend a few blocks away was not correct, said Lt. Jeff Weible, head of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Child Unit. He declined to say where she was.
The 4- and 7-year-old girls remain in protective custody, Weible said.
Contributing: Stan Finger of The Eagle.