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‘She’s a fighter:’ 5-year-old in critical condition after fire sparked by someone playing with lighter

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MILWAUKEE -- A 5-year-old girl is in critical condition after a fire at a home near 41st and Sheridan in Milwaukee on Wednesday evening, July 4.

The child suffered second-degree burns to her face and arms, but her mother told FOX6 News doctors are most concerned about the amount of smoke she inhaled.

Just weeks after celebrating her graduation from preschool, 5-year-old Diamond faces the biggest challenge of her life.

"That's my baby," said Sierra Wise, Diamond's mother.

"She's a fighter. She remind me so much of me when I had my open heart surgery, and just to see her laying there with the tubes, it just makes me sad because I know what I went through -- and to see my grandbaby laying there. I'm just numb," said Sarah Wise, Diamond's grandmother.

Fire near 41st and Sheridan

Fire near 41st and Sheridan

Diamond's mother and grandmother said Thursday, July 5 they're trying to piece together what happened Wednesday night -- less than 30 minutes after they dropped off Diamond at a relative's house for a Fourth of July party.

Sarah Wise

"All we know is that she was stuck in the upstairs room," said Sarah Wise.

Milwaukee fire officials said a fire broke out on the second floor of the home around 7:30 p.m. When firefighters arrived, thick black smoke was pouring out of the building.

"They stretched their hose line up to the second floor where the fire was reported by bystanders -- and that's where they immediately found the child and immediately moved her to the awaiting paramedic unit," said Battalion Chief Erich Roden, Milwaukee Fire Department.

An initial investigation has revealed someone was playing with a lighter, officials said.

Fire near 41st and Sheridan

It may be more than a month before Diamond is released from the hospital.

Sierra Wise

"It depends on how her lungs work. Her lungs are pretty bad right now," said Sierra Wise.

But Diamond's family said the little girl is already proving how strong she can be.

"She's doing better than she was yesterday. She's doing a lot better. She's moving a lot. She's feisty. She's going to come home," said Sierra Wise.

Fire officials said there were no working smoke detectors inside the home at 41st and Sheridan. The girl's father suffered burns on his hands when he tried to climb the stairs to rescue Diamond.

Fire near 41st and Sheridan

A police officer who arrived on the scene first had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

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