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Son Speaks About Mother's Death

Last updated on Thursday, March 22, 2012

(WASHINGTON) - His mother is dead and his sister suffered serious burns when a fire broke out at the families apartment in Washington Wednesday afternoon.

"It hurts real bad, I cried, and cried... I'm still upset about it. I just gotta be strong about it because I know there's nothing I can do now," says Jacob Mandabach.

Mandabach arrived as smoke was still billowing from the fire engulfed building. His mother, April Mandabach, was still inside.

"No one can believe what has happened. Everyone is so upset," says Mandabach.

His sister Lacy Wadsworth escaped the blaze after jumping from a window.

First responder and paramedic, Sarah Ausbrook, had to encourage Lacy to break the window and jump.

"I've never had to tell someone to injure themselves to save their life and it made me kinda sick to my stomach," says Ausbrook.

Jacob says the fire could have been prevented and his mother would still be alive if something had been done.

Several family members say the fire was reported earlier but no one did anything about it.

They say authorities ventilated the apartments then turned things over to the landlord Thadd Rusk.

"These things shouldn't happen. If we can just get our landlords to be more responsible and pay more attention to their tenants," says David Rhoads, Washington Fire Chief.

Jacob says he wishes officials would have done more and his mother would still be alive and his sister wouldn't be suffering now.

Jacob's sister Lacy Wadsworth is in critical condition in Wishard Hospital's burn unit.
Another occupant, Steve Potts, was rescued from the roof by firefighters, he has been flown to a Nashville, TN, hospital for smoke inhalation and is in critical but stable condition.

The fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal's office.

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