GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – A young girl died in a mobile home fire in Greeley over the weekend and investigators say she was left home alone when the flames broke out. Her mother and her boyfriend have now been taken into custody in connection with the child’s death.
When the fire broke out around midnight Saturday off West 10th Street and 26th Avenue in Greeley, Sean Stoos kicked down the door but said he couldn’t get inside. His brother-in-law, Dustin Blanchard, then jumped through a window behind a tarp to try to save his girlfriend’s child.
According to Blanchard’s family, he cared for very deeply for 3-year-old Liliegh Kellenaers.
The charges in the case stem from the fact that Blanchard, 32, and the girl’s mother, Kristen Braig, 27, left her alone inside the home. Stoos said he wants people to know the couple left the girl sleeping for just 15 minutes to visit him. Stoos lives no more than 200 feet away.
“It was a really sad moment because you know there’s a girl on the other side and you just can’t get there,” Stoos said.
Stoos said his brother-in-law made a terrible mistake by deciding to leave the girl alone. He wants people to know Blanchard nearly died trying to save the girl.
“Just in and out, grabbed her, handed her through the window and fell out on his face and was out,” Stoos said.
But it was too late, and Kellenaers died from her injuries.
Blanchard and Braig were injured in the fire and spent most of Monday at North Colorado Medical Center under heavy guard until being released and booked into the Weld County Jail on child abuse charges.
Stoos said the three live in Wyoming and were staying at Blanchard’s mother’s home on Saturday. He said the pain of the child’s death is punishment enough.
Some members of Kellenaers’ father’s family told CBS4 the father had shared custody of the 3-year-old with Braig, and that they are devastated by the loss and want justice served for the little girl.