Bradenton house fire kills dog, sends deaf child to hospital with severe burns

Family left homeless and without any belongings
Posted at 3:23 PM, Jul 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 05:56:14-04

A Bradenton house fire killed a dog and sent a deaf girl to the hospital with serious burns.

The fire started just before 5:00 a.m. on 59th Avenue Dr. West. Immediately the parents rushed three of their daughters out to safety but they couldn't find their fourth, a seven-year-old.

That's when a neighbor stepped in to help, dragging a chair up to the outside of the home. When he looked through a window, he found little Chelsea Bardales in her bunk bed, underneath a blanket, and dragged her out the window. 

“Everything is scorched. Everything. There’s nothing left. Nothing," said Irosis Bardales, who has lived in the home for more than seven years.

It was a gut-wrenching feeling the moments they couldn’t find one of their own. The smoke alarms ringing loudly but Chelsea is deaf.

“It's a desperation that I would not wish on anybody," she said, "Not being able to get her out. That feeling of helplessness.” 

At first, a feeling of relief when their neighbor pulled her out.

“I can’t even begin to imagine what would have happened had he not been there," said Bardales.

But then a feeling of horror.

“Her hands were already burned, her arms and part of her face burned too. She was screaming real loud," she said.

Irosis Bardales’ partner and other children were also hurt. Friends and The Red Cross showing up to help. Right now, the Florida Fire Marshal's Office is investigating what started it all. Bardales tells ABC Action News she suspects the cause is electrical.

“My daughter would say many times that she heard a ‘schh' ‘schh’ sound coming from the wall by where she slept," she described.

With no renter’s insurance, the Honduran family lost everything in the fire.

“Unfortunately when you are from another country you don’t know all the legalities in the U.S.” said family friend Hilda Portalatin, “The reality of the whole scenario will come in when she wants to go to bed and she has no home.”

“There is a dark cloud in my head," said Bardales, "What am I going to do? But the only thing on my mind right now is I’ve got to go see my daughter.”

Far above the material her most pressing worry is her daughter’s recovery.

The family has set up a GoFundMe campaign and is asking for the public's help. Donations of food, clothing and other basic needs will also help.