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Three injured, smoke inhaled after fire breaks out at Omaha home

Omaha, Nebraska – Three family members were seriously injured in a home fire Tuesday morning.

One person managed to escape from a burning home near 23rd and S Streets in South Omaha before Omaha firefighters arrived just before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. Two more were still inside.

They had burns and inhaled copious amounts of smoke.

During the day, the victim’s family rushed to the hospital before stopping in front of the house to see where it started.

“It was bad — still bad,” said Justin Blackson, the victim’s cousin. “But they fought. We know one of our cousins ​​was outside when the fire and ambulance got here. She could tell them where the other two were.”

The first cousin to get off was Rashelle Kirkland. Her brother Michael Pratt and his 7-year-old granddaughter Jaya were still inside.

“It hurts us right now. I just pray they get through it,” Blackson said.

“From the sound of it, he’s been here looking for her longer,” said Fantasia Blackson, another cousin of the victim. “When they got to her, she didn’t respond.”

Justin Blackson said she was airlifted to the Lincoln Burn Unit.

For many years, the house has been a gathering place for family vacations. Because of illness, the big Christmas Eve party was moved to the New Year’s weekend.

Instead, all energy is focused on the three cousins ​​trapped in the blaze, praying for recovery – and survival.

“We’ve been through a lot this year alone,” Justin said. “A year ago, we lost the matriarch. It was her house … A year later, we had another tragedy. I feel like something good has to come out of all of this.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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