Toddler perishes in fire



July 25, 2016
Toddler perishes in fire

GONE: Siarah Coby Francis, 2

A mother's effort to keep her family warm ended with the death of her daughter.

A two-year-old girl died in a fire after her mom “wanted to keep their Wendy house warm using a two-plate stove, but fell asleep”.

Siarah Coby Francis was the only victim of a fire which broke out in Oasis Farm, Philippi, on Saturday after 8am.

Mom Vanessa Francis, 32, says her son Cole, 6, woke her up and that’s when she saw the curtain was burning in the bedroom.

“My son woke me up and said he wanted a packet of chips and a lollipop, I told him to get it inside the kitchen,” she says.

“But when I turned my back to the window, I saw the curtain was burning.”

The mom says Coby was still sleeping on the bed when she tried to douse the flames.

“I tried to pull the curtain off and then ran outside to break the window and then I saw the flames were too high and I couldn’t see Coby anymore,” she adds.

Neighbour Noami Bailey, 27, says they tried to save Coby but “the flames were too high”.

“Coby gave two screams, shouting mommy, mommy, and then we heard her skull bursting,” the shocked woman says.

Vanessa believes the fire was caused by the burning electrical stove, which she had placed on a bankie next to the bed.

“Our heater broke and I placed the stove in the room for a few minutes to make it warm inside, but I fell asleep. The stove’s wires must have been faulty because it used to trip the lights.”

The child’s father Denzil Francis, 28, a shopfitter, had been at work at the time.

City Fire and Rescue’s Theo Layne confirmed the incident.

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