NEW ALBANY, Indiana — A young southern Indiana girl who survived a fire that killed three siblings has been welcomed home with a ride in a fire truck and a reception.
Police cars, other fire trucks and dozens of other vehicles participated in a short parade Saturday to celebrate the homecoming of 5-year-old Tat'yana Hughes, The News and Tribune and WLKY-TV reported.
Tat'yana was released from an Indianapolis hospital on Friday, more than two months after the Jan. 4 house fire that authorities say began when a man fired a flare into the home where the girl's family was spending the night.
Among more than 100 people who gathered at the Griffin Recreation Center to greet Tat'yana was Fire Department Sgt. Bob Hannon, who pulled the girl from the burning home.
"Thank you for carrying our baby to safety. Thank you so much," the girl's grandmother, Theresa Hughes, said to Hannon.
He was handed a letter and given a hug by Taty'ana as members of the crowd clapped and whistled.
"Being able to see her and know that she has a future . it makes you feel good," Hannon said.
Tat'yana's three siblings — 2-year-old Trinity Hughes, 4-year-old Tyrese Hughes and 6-year-old Tai'zah Hughes — all died of smoke inhalation.
New Albany Fire Chief Matt Juliot said Taty'ana's homecoming lifted the spirits of people still saddened by the loss of the three children.
"It's a tragedy that affected so many people — so many families are hurt from what happened — so it's nice to see her come home," Juliot said.
Cody Cashion, 18, has been charged with three counts of murder and arson stemming from the Jan. 4 fire. The New Albany Police Department and Floyd County prosecutors allege Cashion ignited the fire by shooting a flare into the home in retaliation for being robbed by a man who lived there but wasn't home at the time.