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Mother becomes fire safety advocate after son's death in daycare blaze

Tiffany Richardson lost her son when his daycare caught fire, now she and her daughter want to prevent similar tragedies.

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — A mother and daughter whose lives were changed after a fire broke out at daycare recently visited a fire station in the City of South Fulton to talk about the importance of fire safety at daycare facilities. 

Tiffany Richardson was a nurse tech working at a hospital in Houston in 2011 when her daughter was rushed to the emergency room where she worked. 

"I got a call from my daughter's school, my oldest child that was in kindergarten, that she had not been picked up from school. And so I went to, you know, call my daycare," she said. 

Richardson said when she called, a firefighter explained there had been a fire and the children at the daycare had been taken to different hospitals in the area. When she realized her daughter was at her hospital she tried to get more information. 

"They said, well, you just missed her. We got her stable and we have to get her to children's hospital," Richardson said. 

After hours of waiting by her daughter's side, Richardson learned her son died. The woman in charge of the daycare left the seven children in her care alone while she went shopping. There was hot oil on the stove at the time when the fire started. 

"She left seven kids and a house, went shopping at Target. We're dealing with the aftermath of it, and I just hope this never happens to anybody else," Richardson told 11Alive. 

It was an experience that left mental scars on Richardson and physical scars on her daughter. She was left with burns all over her legs as a result of the fire. Now, they both visit fire stations like the one in the City of South Fulton to talk to people in different communities so no one else will endure what she did. 

These are lessons Lieutenant Tangela Rowe and the other firefighters in the City of South Fulton try to drive home to residents. 

"I tell everybody. Fire safety is and is something that we need to practice each and every day, not just waiting on fire prevention day or fire prevention month," Lt. Rowe said. 

She said parents not only need to check on where they leave their children, but they also need to have the knowledge for themselves.  

 

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