Monday's triple fatal house fire in Evansville was a tragic result of arson. Now, a story of heroism surfaces in light of the story
A little girl is alive and well after a man inside that burning home whisks her to safety. Twenty-three year old, Dustin Vacha, says he shared the apartment with the three victims; his grandfather Donald, his cousin Keri, and her two daughters. None of the three made it out of the fire alive. It's all very tragic, but one life was saved, and in the nick of time.
"I try to sleep at night, but all I hear is Keri saying 'get my babies out.' I'm just lost." Dustin Vacha flashes back to Monday's fire that claimed three loved ones lives. Standing here today, Vacha says he doesn't feel like a hero, but his quick thinking saved a three year old's life that day.
"I put Cierra out of the window and held her there, not wanting to let her go because I didn't want to hurt her." Vacha says he held baby Cierra for as long as he could. The second story window was the only way out. Vacha says his Uncle Mike, and another resident, had already made it outside. With seconds to spare, Vacha passed her to his uncle, and Cierra was safe.
Vacha says he turned back to a black apartment, but jumping to safety was not his next move. "I went back in to try and find Keri and Jazmine, and I couldn't find them. I looked for her until I couldn't look anymore. I took my last breath and I dove out the window head first," says Vacha.
He remembers seeing thirty-one year old, Christopher Compton, visiting shortly before the flames. When the flames erupted, Compton was gone. Compton is charged with setting the home on fire. "Keri was sitting on my bed, she said she smelled smoke," Vacha says. Within minutes they were fighting for their lives. "They were yelling get out fire, get out fire."
Vacha says he wishes he could have saved the others including his grandfather Donald Lankford. "I feel like I should have done more."
"They are innocent, beautiful, they are my everything." Though Vacha couldn't save them all, he knows Cierra will understand his strength. "That's my Dustin, that is what she will say, that's my Dustin."
The family says baby Cierra is currently in the hands of Child Protective Services. The family says a vigil will be held at the home where the fire occurred, Saturday at 7 pm.
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