Steven Crane, the father of the girl who wasn't home at the time of Sunday's fatal Midwest City fire that killed her mother and two brothers, said it was a last-minute turn of events that kept Destiny away from the blaze.
Crane lives in Anadarko with his wife and three other children. When he learned he'd have three days off in a row, he asked Destiny's mother, Lindsey Terry, if he could pick up Destiny for the weekend.
“She texted me Friday and asked me if I wanted to pick her up. It was kind of a last moment, spur-of-the-moment thing,” he said.
The state medical examiner Wednesday ruled that Terry and her two sons, John Brown-Jones II, 2, and Dylan Terry, 4, died from smoke inhalation and thermal burns suffered in the fire Sunday.
Crane said he has explained to Destiny, 7, that her mother and siblings have gone to be with their grandfather in heaven.
“She knew the concept of where they went and not being here anymore, but actually, I'm not sure if her mind has let her accept that,” Crane said. “She's doing pretty good. She's managing pretty well. I think she's still in a little bit of shock, but she understands what's going on and we're just taking it day-by-day,” he said.
Firefighters were called to the blaze at the Raintree Meadows Apartments, 449 Harr Drive, shortly before noon Sunday.
Maj. David Richardson said firefighters found the woman and two children unresponsive in an apartment unit. The boys were pronounced dead.
Terry, 26, was taken to a hospital and revived. She died Monday.
Richardson said all three victims were found inside a bedroom with the doors and windows shut. It appears the mother was trying to keep herself and the children away from the fire, he said.
Firefighters found one child on the bedroom floor. Terry and the other boy were on the mattress, Richardson said.
"It hit her pretty hard when we first told her, but she was able to calm down and able to ask questions," Crane said.
Destiny will return to school at Traub Elementary on Thursday for the final week of classes.
“She was talking about how she wanted to go back and see her classmates and her teachers again. We're making this work and letting her finish out the school year,” he said.
Donation drop-off locations:
• The 15th Street Grill, 1204 E Lockheed Drive in Midwest City
• Chico's Thrift and Boutique, 5236 S Pennsylvania Ave.