Seven-year-old still smiling one year after she was severely burned in apartment fire

One year after the fire, Kenzie said, "I'm happy, really happy."

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 10:53 AM
Updated: Jan 23, 2020 10:56 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—It's been a little more than a year since a large fire broke out at the Twyckenham apartment complex. Many people were left with minor injuries, but one little girl wasn't so lucky.

Seven-year-old Kenzie Mosgrove spent several months in the hospital after more than half of her body was severely burned.

News 18 has been following Kenzie's story since the fire happened on December 16, 2018. 

News 18 also checked in with Kenzie in May, when she returned to school after being released from the hospital. Now, one year after the fire, Kenzie said, "I'm happy, really happy." 

Jessica Delaney, Kenzie's Mother, validated that. 

"She's Kenzie. She's talkative and playful and not shy."

Kenzie Mosgrove is keeping busy.

"I dance and sing and draw and color and read my Harry Potter books," she said. 

On top of her standard 7-year-old duties, like being embarrassed by her little sister Teagan, Kenzie has had a lot of healing to do.

When Kenzie was just six-years-old, the Lafayette apartment complex where her father lived went up in flames. The fire started in the unit below his, where a candle caught a couch on fire. 

Kenzie's dad made it out of the building with all his children, except her. After that night, Kenzie's life changed forever. 

"She's just so young," Jessica said. "She's still at that stage where she doesn't get it or why this has happened to her."

Fire crews saved Kenzie's life. However, she suffered burns to more than 60 percent of her body and spent several months at Riley Hospital for Children.

"She has a limp when she walks, she does not have her left fingers, she has the scarring on her face," Jessica explained.

Kenzie's mom said the past year has been tough, but her family has learned to adapt to the changes. She said there's a lot that Kenzie needs to be careful with.

"If she gets a cut or a scrape we have to be really on that to get her healed up again because she can get blisters," she said. "She no longer can sweat on the side that she's burned on. She has to wear her garments for 23 hours a day."

While Kenzie still needs help with some every day things, Jessica said she's getting more and more independent. 

"Her healing is amazing. Her skin is so soft. Her scarring has done so well. But the more she grows and the more her body starts forming we'll have to definitely have to do reconstruction."

Kenzie said she knows she looks a little different now, but it's okay. She's even got a new friend that's just like her. A doll named Phoenix, who has the exact same burns on her body as Kenzie does. 

"Phoenix's hands have the same, the same thing, like I don't have any fingers on this hand," Kenzie said. "And she's just like me."

In February, Phoenix will have to get a new accessory to match Kenzie.

"Soon I'm getting a prosthetic for lefty." ('Lefty' is what Kenzie calls her left hand, which has no fingers).

"And I'm getting a hook too! So I can climb on the monkey bars."

"She's got it. She's gonna keep on climbing that mountain and she will be running down one day," Jessica said. 

News 18 asked Kenzie, "Do you feel stronger since we last talked to you?"

Kenzie: "Yeah!"

Reporter: "How do you feel stronger?"

Kenzie: "To be happy and good, and I just like being home with Phoenix."

Jessica said Kenzie will undergo laser surgery on the areas she was burned. The laser should help with itching, although Kenzie will deal with that discomfort her entire life.

There is currently a fundraiser to help Kenzie and her sister, who suffered minor burns from the fire, get a support dog.

If you would like to donate, click here. 

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