Family speaks out following fatal Gulfport fire that killed two children
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The family of two children who died in a fire at William Bell Apartments in Gulfport are sharing new details on how those who were hospitalized are doing.
Wednesday morning was nothing less than a nightmare for Tontalia Gee and Satoria Smith. They lost two of their nephews in a house fire. Their sister and her other two kids were rushed to the hospital.
“My mom rushed out there,” said Smith. “I was half asleep and didn’t really know what was going on, a phone call telling me Vashun, our nephew, and a four-day old. It was really tough hearing.”
6-year-old Vashun Viverett and 4-day-old Kakashi Aubrey died from inhaling smoke. According to his aunts, Vashun always had a smile, enjoyed playing outside his home and loved Spiderman.
“He was just a happy baby. Always smiling, joking, just a happy kid. The true definition of a kid. He loved playing around. He was really bubbly. He wasn’t a trouble making child at all,” Gee and Smith said.
Shanquetta Smith, mother of the two children, is still in the hospital fighting to breathe on her own.
“They have her in an induced coma, so she’s been asleep since she got there,” Smith added. “She was awake for a little bit, but they had to sedate her and put her to sleep because they did not want her to put any stress on her body or anything.”
Due to her being in a coma, she is unaware that her baby boys did not make it. Only two days prior to the fire, she had brought Kakashi home. Her sisters told WLOX the mom of four was anticipating the arrival of her baby boy.
Only one of the sisters, Gee, met baby Kakashi.
Shanquetta has two other kids, a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. The 4-year-old was in critical condition and moved to a hospital in New Orleans.
According to the aunts, the boy is no longer in critical condition and is now breathing without a ventilator.
“The four-year-old, he’s really strong. They just removed him from the ventilator. He is hanging on breathing on his own a little bit. They removed him from the ventilator at 9:30 to see how he would react and he’s doing well,” Smith said.
The family is hosting a vigil tomorrow at the William Bell Apartments in Gulfport at 3:30 p.m.
If you like to donate towards funeral costs, a GoFundMe has been set up by one of the sisters. You can find by clicking here.
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