‘Brave’ girl, 11, survives house fire by jumping out of window after her ‘schizophrenic’ father started fire that killed her mother and siblings

An 11-year-old girl reportedly became the sole survivor of a deadly fire set by her mentally ill father and jumped from a second-story window to escape the flames.

The girl, identified only as Lulu, suffered only minor injuries. She then ran to her neighbors for help.

Her father, Salvatore Ragusa, who suffers from schizophrenia, is believed to have killed the girl’s mother and two younger brothers before setting fire to the Wallingford home, according to reports.

Ragusa, 48, committed suicide. Authorities later found Lulu’s mother, Lana Stewart, her 7-year-old brother, and her 4-year-old sister dead inside, according to the Seattle Times.

The door of the house had been barred.

The family dog, Rosie, was also found dead.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Stewart had died from multiple sharp force injuries, while her two children died from smoke-related injuries, according to Fox 13 Seattle. All three deaths have been ruled homicides.

A girl, who was only identified as Lulu, notified neighbors of the fire after sliding out the window and running for help, suffering minor injuries. GoFundMe
Lulu's brothers. When police arrived at the home, they found the door barricaded and firefighters battled the fire for 45 minutes before they were able to enter the home.
Lana Stewart. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Stewart had died from multiple sharp force injuries, while her two children died from smoke-related injuries.

Police have not revealed the relationship between Ragusa and the family, but neighbors referred to him and Stewart as a couple who lived together, according to the Seattle Times.

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Stewart’s sister said Ragusa suffered from schizophrenia and caused her family to endure “lies, manipulation, uncertainty and forced isolation.” Ragusa completed a court-ordered mental health program 19 months ago, according to KIRO 7.

“Yes, family is everything to me. And if. We need to be kind to each other,” Ragusa said during a February 2022 appearance in mental health court, the outlet reported.

Three years ago, Ragusa also set fire to another house Stewart had been living in, according to KIRO 7. When Seattle police arrived at the house, Ragusa was standing on the roof with a rope around his neck and threatening to jump, according to the report.

The burned house. The fire is considered an arson homicide. Police have not revealed the relationship between Ragusa and the family, but neighbors referred to him and Stewart as a couple who lived together.
The house on fire. Ragusa also set fire to another house Stewart had been living in three years ago, according to KIRO 7. When Seattle police arrived at the house, Ragusa was standing on the roof with a rope around his neck and threatening to jump.
Lulú with her mother and siblings.Lulú with her mother and siblings.

Stewart’s relatives said the mother of three tried to keep the family together despite Ragusa’s mental illness. Before her health problems, he was reportedly a loving father, KIRO 7 reported.

Lulu’s aunt, Adrea Stewart-Sloniker, started a GoFundMe page for her niece, whom she called “brave.” So far she has raised more than $61,000.

“Lulu has always been known as a talkative and loving girl who always put her family first. As she grew older and became more aware of her situation, she often took on a protective yet loving role. So it’s not entirely surprising to me that she jumped out of a window with a 16-foot drop to help others survive. “She thought she would come back to save her brother and sister after asking for help,” Stewart-Sloniker wrote in the fundraiser.

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The funds will go toward the preteen’s recovery as well as her education, her aunt said.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free, confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988 or visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

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Source: vtt.edu.vn

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