Mother loses two daughters in apartment fire

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A South Bend family is grieving the loss of two young children killed in an apartment fire early Sunday morning on East Haney Avenue.

The fire happened just before 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

Family members say 6-year-old Nevaeh Johnson and her 4-year-old sister Me’Chielle died at the hospital.

The mother of the children that died jumped out of a second story window with another daughter.

Robin Marshall, 28, just got out of the hospital with severe burns on her arms. She says she and her 5-year-old daughter suffered smoke inhalation.

She is distraught about the loss of her other two daughters and doesn’t know how she will pay for their burials.

Marshall returned to her boarded up apartment late Monday afternoon to see what she could save.

She was not ready to talk on camera just hours after getting out of the hospital.

The coroner says 6-year-old Navaeh and 4-year-old Me'Chielle both died of smoke and soot inhalation.

The fire department says two adult males are being treated for burns related to this fire.

"One was transferred to my understanding the Kalamazoo burn center. So one is over there and I'm assuming that the other is here locally,” said Fire Marshal Chico Rodriguez, South Bend Fire Department.

Marshall says the man in Kalamazoo suffering from severe burns is Cordell Mahone her sister's boyfriend.

She says he may have left a pan on the stove that caused the deadly fire.

The other man is a complete stranger who rushed in her burning apartment to help.

“It's this guy, he woke me up out of my sleep, Auntie remember I was telling you somebody was in the back yelling, 'The house is on fire, the house is on fire!" Marshall told her Aunt who was at the scene with her this afternoon.

She says the stranger woke her up and got her to jump out of the back window with her 5-year-old daughter La'Naisha, saving both of their lives.

On Monday afternoon La'Naisha, was in the car with her Aunt waiting as her Mother and her mom's cousin went in to get some clothing and other items from Marshall's apartment. Her family members tell ABC 57 News the fire damage was contained to the bottom level. However the upstairs level sustained heavy smoke damage.

Both mom and daughter still had their medical bracelets on their wrists from the hospital. The little girl's aunt explained they had just been discharged from the hospital.

If you would like to help Robin Marshall please contact ABC 57's Judi Lykowski at She can put you in touch with the victim's family.


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