Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Balloons released in honor of 4 lives lost in 2017 house fire

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BATON ROUGE- With balloons in hand, Erica Jackson remembers the family she lost in the same spot where she was standing one year ago.

Jackson's daughters 7-year-old Maylia Jackson, 6-year-old Michele Jackson, her grandmother 77-year-old Gloria Anderson and her dear friend 19-year-old Antinee Ellis all lost their lives in a fire last January. At the time, Jackson said the blaze took her loved ones and anything she had left.

“I don’t have anywhere to go. I'm out on the streets, but it's going to be okay. Everything happens for a reason, and I guess this is just my test on how I endure things,” Jackson said on the night of the fire.

Her 5-year-old son, Michael, survived, but he was seriously injured. Doctors told her it would be a long road to recovery.

“It pretty much he'll be able to walk and talk again, but they weren't too sure about his vision,” said Jackson.

After months of hospital stays and even a visit from actor J.K. Simmons, her son made a miraculous recovery.

“The devil is a lie because God brought it back. By the grace of God, my son can see, walk, and talk despite what the doctors said,” said Jackson.

Although the last year has not been easy, Jackson says she and her son are strong and will not give up.

“He's a strong-willed boy, so he's going to pull through all right because God got him,” said Jackson.

Following the incident, Mayor-President Sharon Weston-Broome and other officials discussed public safety concerns regarding a rash of fires in the parish, and they also installed dozens of smoke detectors for free throughout the city in an effort to help prevent fire casualties.

Click here, to register for the city-parish's smoke detector installation program.


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