CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Tomaceeta Hampton has been at the hospital since the weekend. That's where FOX 46 Charlotte caught up with her.
“I didn't know how bad the situation was until I got here, to the hospital” Hampton said.
She got a call about a fire at her daughter's Pressley South End apartment. Fire investigators said it started when something was left cooking in the kitchen.
Inside the apartment was Hampton’s daughter, grandson, and a young cousin. The three were rushed to the hospital, where they were all being treated for smoke inhalation.
“First of all I want people to learn from it, you know accidents do happen, this was an accident,” said Hampton.
The nine-year-old cousin, Michael Johnson, was the first to pass away.
“It’s still surreal to me. I’m having my moments where I say this isn't happening, this isn't real,” she said.
Then, Hampton’s daughter, 23-year-old Mechele Morrison passed away hours later.
“The thing I am going to miss the most is her calling me every day and saying ‘I love you mommy.’ I think that's what I’m going to miss the most her telling me she loves me like she use to do everyday,” Hampton said.
Now, she said, her six-year-old grandson Tremayne Smith who had to be flown from Charlotte to Columbia, is responding well to treatment. She says she doesn't know how to tell him his mother is gone.
“It's going to be hard, to explain to him that she's gone. So I have to find a way to try and tell him that, in the most gentle and kind way,” she said.
The pain this family is going through is something they can't put into words, but, it's also bringing them closer together.
“I just want to say thanks from everyone out there with your thoughts and prayers, we appreciate ya'll,” another family member said.
If you would like to help with funeral costs for Mechele, or medical bills for Tremayne, you can click here to donate. If you'd like to help Michael's immediate family, you can send an email to TinaMorrison7069@gmail.com.
Fire officials told Fox 46 Charlotte that the only smoke detector in the apartment was not "operable" and that an independent investigation is underway to determine why it wasn't.