Father Speaks Out About Fatal Fire

An infant was killed and three people injured in a Council Bluffs house fire.

The father of six-month old Mayci-Jane Lerette talked to WOWT Six News.

"It's going to be hard to look at the stuff that we do have because it's going to always remind us of this," said Jerrel Lerette, rummaging through the debris in the charred living room.

The blaze broke out just before 8 p.m. at the residence near North 8th and Mill streets. Neighbors who saw smoke tried to rescue the residents, but they could not get inside.

Lerette had just taken his eldest son to prom when he got the call from neighbors. He said he's filled with regrets.

"I wish I could have done more, I wish I would have payed more attention to my baby that day and held her a little more," said Lerette.

Firefighters found 6-month-old Mayci Colburn-Lerette dead in the living room. Three-year-old Gerad Lerette, 30-year-old Jeremiah Lerette and 70-year-old Terese Lerette were taken to Alegent Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, then transferred to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln for treatment.

Jeremiah Lerette, Jerrel's brother, was asleep in the basement at the time of the fire. He said his nephew Gerad saved him.

"At some point, my little nephew comes down and starts pushing and screaming and wakes me up--and I could just tell by the way he was acting that something was wrong," said Jeremiah Lerette.

Gerad and Jeremiah have been released from the hospital, but Terese is still recovering after suffering bad burns.

The Council Bluffs Fire Department and Police Department are investigating the cause of the fire. Firefighters notified police after discovering "suspicious" items inside the house. An investigation is underway to determine whether those items were a factor.

Lerette says he's complying with police in their investigation.


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