House fire kills mother, 2-year-old daughter, injures boyfriend

Published: Jan. 14, 2015 at 3:17 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2015 at 11:21 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A mother and her 2-year-old daughter died in a house fire in the 1300 block of Rosecrest Road on Wednesday morning.

The mother is identified by neighbors as Makayla Kelley. Her 21-year-old boyfriend, Chris Buehler, and his 19-year-old brother narrowly escaped the flames.

Buehler's best friend, Fred Spirit, rushed to the house as soon as he heard about the fire.

"They were going to get the baby. Makayla went to get the baby, the 2-year-old. He said when he come out the door and looked back, she wasn't behind him anymore," Spirit explained. "He said he went back to the side window and punched the window out because his baby lays right under the window in the bed right there and he said when he pulled the cover back, all he saw was fire."

According to a press release from the Memphis Fire Department, three family dogs also died in the fire.

Another woman, Kathy, whose sister lives on the other side of the duplex, is grateful that her sister was not home when the fire started.

"I praise God," said Kathy. "I would lay down my life for my little sister."

Kathy says her sister was at her house when she got word of the fire. By they time they rushed to the home, it was fully overtaken by flames.

MFD says Buehler's brother was taken to Regional Medical Center in critical condition with burns on his face and hands.

"It's going to be pretty hard for him. He's a single dad," said Jonathan Martin, a family friend.

"That's all he was about man, providing for his daughter," Spirit added. "That's all his girl was about. She was the sweetest thing. I've never heard her say a cuss word ... She [Makayla] just had a baby. She just came home from the hospital yesterday."

The couple's newborn is still at the hospital.

"That's sad when the baby gets out the hospital, it doesn't have a mother to come home to. It's just the worst thing of all," said neighbor Johnna Brown.

MFD says the fire was caused by faulty electrical wires. There was no working smoke detector in the apartment.

As firefighters continue to investigate, grief, tears and heavy emotions fill family and friends who never saw this coming.

"Yes it hurts me. Tears to my eyes and everything," said Brown.

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