Girl, 11, survives house fire that killed her mother and two siblings by jumping out of a window – as her father who set the blaze dies by suicide
- Lulu escaped the burning house through a window and contacted a neighbor
- The father was diagnosed with schizophrenia and had completed a voluntary mental health court program
- He was arrested in 2019 for starting a fire in the mother’s apartment
An 11-year-old girl is the sole survivor of a house fire that killer her mother, brother and her baby sister – started by her father who was later found dead by suicide.
The girl, who has only been identified by her first name, Lulu, managed to escape the burning house on September 2 in Seattle through a window and ran to neighbors to raise the alarm.
Neighbors then called 911 to report that a person had died in the burning house. When Seattle cops tried to enter the home the doors were barricaded.
Firefighters later found the bodies of four people and a dog after extinguishing the flames.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Lana A. Stewart, 40, died from multiple sharp-force injuries; Sebastino Ragusa, 7, died from asphyxia from the inhalation of toxic products of combustion; and four-month-old Valentina Ragusa died from smoke inhalation.
Salvatore Ragusa, 48, died from smoke inhalation. Lulu was treated for minor injuries.
Lulu is the only survivor in a house fire that killed her mother, brother and her baby sister. The fire was set by her father who also died
Siblings Sebastino Ragusa, 7, died from asphyxia from the inhalation of toxic products of combustion and 4-month-old Valentina Ragusa died from smoke inhalation
Mother Lana A. Stewart, 40, died from multiple sharp-force injuries. Ragusa was arrested in 2019 for starting a fire in Stewart’s apartment in the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle
Though Seattle police have not disclosed the relationship between Ragusa and the victims, neighbors have referred to Stewart and Ragusa as a couple who lived in the house with their children.
Court records show Ragusa had finished a court-mandated county mental health program last year.
Ragusa opted into the program after pleading guilty to reckless burning and malicious mischief in a 2019 arrest for starting a fire in Stewart’s apartment in the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle.
Stewart was identified in court records at the time as his ex-wife. He threatened suicide during the fire, the police report notes.
King County District Court records show that Ragusa was diagnosed with schizophrenia and entered a voluntary mental health court program with Valley Cities Behavioral Health that included therapy, psychiatric treatment and counseling.
He was given a no-contact order towards Stewart but the court lifted the order in May 2021 after Ragusa indicated he ‘would like to live with the victim.
He completed the two-year mental health program in February 2022 and is not known whether he seeked further treatment. At his Febraury hearing, he told the court: ‘Yeah, family means everything to me. And, yeah. We need to be kind to one another.’
Neighbors said that the pair lived in the Wallingford home for nearly two years and that they had friendly, if few, interactions with the family. The two older children would play in the yard, often with their dog.
Fire crews found the bodies of four people and a dog after extinguishing the flames. At the time the police department tweeted that they were responding to a shooting in the area but on arrival, they found a house in flames.
Someone then called 911 and reported a person had died in the burning house. Seattle police said officers tried to enter the home but the doors were barricaded.
A GoFundMe page for Lulu has been started by her aunt Adrea Stewart-Sloniker to support her recovery and her education.
The page reads: ‘Lulu has always been known as a talkative & loving girl who always put her family first. As she got older and became more aware of her situation, she often took on a protective but nurturing role.
‘Therefore I’m not all surprised she jumped out a window with a 16 foot drop to help others survive. She thought she was going back to save her brother & sister after calling for help.’
The fund has raised $47,619 as of now and is set at a goal of $200,000.
A Seattle Police Department spokesperson said that investigators are not looking for suspects. The city’s police Arson & Bomb squad is working with the Seattle Fire Department to determine how the fire started.
Source: Read Full Article