A seven month old infant died in an early morning fire. According to a Stone County investigator, how the fire started has not been determined yet. All he knows for sure is two teenage parents jumped out of bed Tuesday morning when smoke consumed their bedroom. In the ensuing chaos, they weren't able to reach their baby.
Behind a Wiggins fire truck parked in a Price Road driveway was a charred red brick house that Missy Rushing called home.
When asked if she knew how a predawn fire started in that home on Price Road, tears dripped down her cheek when she said, "No."
Neither did Stone County Investigator Wayne Cook.
"The mother and daddy was in this front bedroom here," he said, pointing to the spot where they escaped.
When the fire ignited, they were sleeping. So was Skylar Lindley, their seven month old daughter, in a crib on the other side of the house. When mom started coughing, she woke up, saw flames eating through her home, and ran toward her baby.
"The flames were so bad we couldn't even walk in," she remembered.
Rushing escaped through the bedroom door attached to the front porch. So did the baby's father, Michael Lindley. But when Wiggins fire trucks arrived, little Skylar remained trapped in a house that was burning to the ground.
"Firefighters tried. They just couldn't get in. There was just nothing we could do," Cook said.
The baby's mother returned to the charred house to answer investigators questions.
She said that once she got outside the burning building, "I wanted to just bum rush everybody and just run in there and grab her."
However, the growing fire prevented anybody from getting inside. It took almost an hour to control the flames. An hour after that, the fire was finally extinguished. Five different Stone County fire departments sent rescue teams to the Price Road, Ten Mile Church Road scene. They fought both the fire, and their emotions.
"Any time you lose a child, seven month old baby, that's, we've all got babies, we've all got kids. And you can't deal with that," Cook said.
Just a couple of months earlier, Stone County faced a similar tragedy. Two other young children died in a fire near the Bond community.
This time, the dead child belonged to Missy Rushing.
"I love her and I wish she was here," she said through tears.
Autopsy results confirmed that little Skylar died from burns suffered in the morning's fire. Her family is supposed to make funeral arrangements on Wednesday.