Family of 6 escapes house fire, now asking community for help

The parents are fighting for their lives after rescuing their children from the fire.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 9:22 PM MST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A family of six was taken to a hospital Tuesday night after escaping a house fire.

Fire crews arrived at the scene after 9:15 p.m. and found the house near 28th Avenue and Vane Street fully involved in a fire.

Family friends told WOWT both parents were left fighting for their lives.

“She was on a ventilator they had her in a medically induced coma,” said Miranda Marshall. “They had gotten her off the ventilator, but she still has an oxygen mask.”

Marshall has known Jessica Sampson for years. She said the mother of the four is expected to be released in a few weeks, but her husband Matthew Wren’s future is less certain.

“He is still in critical condition they aren’t able to take him off the vent as of right now,” Marshall said.

Marshall said the four kids were able to escape the home before fire crews arrived at the scene. One jumped off the roof. The youngest child, a four-year-old, was rescued by his dad who rushed back into the fire.

Crews on the scene reported that an Omaha police officer was also treated for smoke inhalation after the fire.

“I immediately was sick to my stomach. Panic mode set in, being 600 miles away is not easy,” Michaela Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh is a friend of Sampson. She was in Arkansas when she found out about the fire. She said she immediately rushed to Omaha to help take care of the four kids.

“Trying to get our minds together wrapped what we’re going to do to get this family back on track,” Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh said the family didn’t have money to insure the house and there was nothing for them to save. She set up a GoFundMe to receive help from the community.

“This is just one hit of very many, and all the hits she’s taken in her life are not small,” Kavanaugh said.

WOWT was told at the scene that a neighbor was also treated but did not require a trip to a hospital.

Omaha Fire investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire. Damages were estimated to be more than $120,000.