CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Two children were killed and three other family members were injured in a Chesterfield County house fire in the early morning hours of Monday. A next-door neighbor opened up about her close relationship with the children and how the community is reacting to the devastating tragedy.
With tears in her eyes, Thelma Lane spoke Monday about her disbelief over the loss of two little boys she spent so much time with, telling 8News she was like a “grandma” to the family who lived next door.
“It was really a bad scene,” Lane said. “I just can’t believe the mama and the baby are in critical condition and the two boys are gone.”
Lane tried to hold back tears when talking about 4-year-old Liam and 8-year-old Cody on Monday, showing 8News a card one of the children made for her.
“He was a really good kid. He made me a love book. You’re the best neighbor, I love you, you know, hearts and flowers,” Lane said.
Lane said the boy’s father, Hunter Slayton, and their stepmother, Michal, were able to make it out of the house with their 10-week-old baby and came rushing to her door covered in soot.
“I got up and he said the house is in flames and the boys are in there. So, I came out here screaming and next thing I knew, they were handing me the baby,” she told 8News.
A visibly shaken Lane also talked about the last time she saw one of the boys, who she said were like her own grandchildren, and the effort Hunter and Michal made to help rescue the children.
“She tried so hard to get them boys out, they both did, just circling the house,” Lane said.
8News learned from Lane that the 10-week-old infant and her mother are both in critical condition and H. Slayton is in stable condition.