Family of toddler killed in Beech Grove describes father’s rescue attempt

BEECH GROVE, Ind.-- The family of 2-year-old Brianna Chislom, who was killed in a fire in Beech Grove, described the desperate moments as her dad tried to save her life. Her father, who was injured in the blaze, was too distraught to speak about the incident.

“He loves his kids,” said family member Terri Hunt.

Hunt is fighting through the pain to tell the Dennis Chislom's story.

“He heard a boom. He just kept seeing little flashes of light and he was like wait a minute, what could that be?” said Hunt.

Chislom was in the apartment with his two toddlers, Brianna and Brandon, when he heard what sounded like an explosion Wednesday morning.

Soon, their entire home was full of flames.

“When he ran out he was faced with fire. He was trying to get to the kids and he started screaming out their names. He got Brendon to come and Mimi said no. he was saying come on Mimi come on and he noticed that Brendon’s arm was starting to burn so he took him out,” said Hunt.

When Dennis ran back to get Brianna, he was surrounded by flames and smoke.

“He went back in as far as he could go trying to call out for her but he did not hear anything and he could not go any further, he was getting burned. He went out and busted the windows because he thought he could bust the window by her bedroom to get her out. All he wanted was his baby,” said Hunt.

Brianna never made it out. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

“They do not have insurance and they lost everything,” said Hunt.

The family now left wondering what sparked the blaze. CBS4 reached out to E.S. Property Management, who manages the building. They said they had no comment.

Right now, the family is focused on honoring Brianna but struggling to come with the money to lay her to rest.

“It is bad enough that you have to bury your child but not being able to -- oh my God,” said Hunt.

The Beech Grove girls’ softball team will be taking donations to help the family, and the organization says they will accept donations through their concession stands. The family also has a GoFundMe page set up.

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