Gary fire kills woman, injures 2

November 3, 2013 (GARY, Ind.)

The boy is being treated at Chicago's Bernard Mitchell Hospital.

Nine-year-old Cody Page is stable, after suffering burns on 7 percent of his body. Of more concern to doctors is the amount of smoke he inhaled. He is being kept sedated and on a respirator.

"I looked out the window and saw flames coming out their front windows and out the side," said neighbor Aneatrice Smith.

It only took a few minutes for one Gary, Indiana family's life to be turned upside down.

"I stay downstairs in the basement so I saw the smoke coming in from upstairs and I heard my son screaming," said Sereta Page. "I heard my dad make a noise. I heard my mom."

Still clearly in shock, 37-year-old Sereta Page recounts the house fire that Sunday morning took her mother's life, and left her father and her 9-year old son, Cody Page, critically injured.

"I was trying to get to my son, but when I opened the door I could not get there, there was smoke everywhere," she said.

Page managed to call 911. Firefighters rescued her, then her son and parents. But it was too late for 71-year-old Essie Crockett Hill. A retired school bus driver, who in recent years needed an oxygen machine to breathe, Hill was the oldest of 15 siblings.

"We all were very close. Very close. I mean she did, we all enjoyed each other," said Leora Carr, Hill's sister. "We got together. We would always comfort each other. We always had family gatherings. Especially were really going to miss her around Christmas."

At the University of Chicago's Bernard Mitchell Hospital Sunday night, Page has hardly left her son's bedside, while at the same time trying to keep tabs on her 64-year-old father, who is still critical at Loyola University's Medical Center.

"I'm trying to not think about everything all at once. Just picking and choosing what to think about, what's more important. If I thought about everything it would bombard me," she said.

Officials in Gary still do not know exactly where in the house the fire started or what caused it.

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