TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's been just over one week since 7-year-old Carmen Schleppy was in a tragic fire accident.
Carmen suffered third and fourth-degree burns to about 60 percent of her body.
It happened at their house on Monday, May 2. It was supposed to be the Schleppy family's last day there before moving.
Colleen and her daughter Carmen were in the living room watching television.
"My daughter was warming up by the fireplace," said Tony Schleppy. "It was raining that day."
Carmen was wearing a skirt and leggings, an outfit she'd worn many times before.
"Her skirt caught fire and started [burning], and she started screaming for me and before I knew it, she had run into the kitchen, and I was running after her...I panicked," Colleen Schleppy, her mother said.
Tony was on the phone in the bedroom and heard the screaming.
"We get bats in the house from time to time, so I thought I just have to chase a bat out of the house," he said. "I came out of the bedroom and there was a fire in the kitchen. So, I end up having to run out to the kitchen. I grabbed my daughter, put her on the ground and rolled her out," said Tony
They estimate that the damage took less than 20 seconds.
Carmen was in shock afterward.
"By the time it was put out, her skirt was gone and her leggings were melted to her legs," Colleen said.
The ambulance quickly arrived.
She was taken to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.
Colleen and Tony hope their daughter doesn't remember that day.
However, when they ask her, "She said 'I wish this never happened.' I said, 'what?' She said, 'the fire.' So, I don't pry for information, because I hope she wouldn't remember it...she obviously does," Tony said.
Doctors aren't sure exactly how long it's going to take for Carmen to recover.
They expect her to be in the hospital for two months.
In the meantime, they look to the future to help get through this.
"When she's better, she'll be able to do everything she was able to do before. She'll be able to continue being a normal little girl," Tony said.
The Schleppy family wants to remind all that in case of a fire, although you may become panicked, to always remember to stop, drop, and roll immediately.
Friends set up an account for Carmen to help.
You can donate to her at any Fifth Third Bank. If you'd like to mail the donation, the bank's address in Brazil is:
- 637 E National Avenue
- Brazil, IN 47834
The account is called Colleen Schleppy for the Benefit of Carmen.
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