Elkhart girl in serious condition from house fire

A girl injured during a house fire remains in serious condition.
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May 6, 2013 at 4:27 p.m.

ELKHART — A 9-year-old girl taken to the hospital is still recovering from injuries sustained during a house fire east of Elkhart Saturday, May 4.

Firefighters were called at about 10 p.m. to 22983 Leslie Lane. Five people, including the homeowners, James and Alisa Bennett, had all escaped by the time the fire department arrived.

The fire started in a bedroom and storage area above the house’s garage, said Concord Township Deputy Fire Chief Don Mansell. Chaz Allen, 7, was taken to Elkhart General Hospital with minor burns. He was treated and released.

Leigha Allen, 9, was flown to the Bronson Burn and Wound Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. with serious burns to her face and arms. She remains there in serious condition.

The two children were staying over with the Bennetts because their mother had gone with their older sister to a volleyball tournament out of state. The two children are students at Mary Daly Elementary School. Both families go to Beulah Missionary Church, at 57595 C.R. 17, said Jackie Smith, office manager at the church.

The Bennetts both work at schools. They volunteered their home and to watch over the children. Mansell estimated the cost of the damage to the house was of about $110,000. Smith said the Bennetts found a place to live temporarily with family, and are working with their insurance company to repair their home.

However, the Allens need the community’s help. Beulah Missionary Church is accepting donations for the Allens, to cover the cost of medical bills. Donations can be sent to Beulah Missionary Church marked for the Allen family.


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