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‘My sister’s on fire,’ screams sibling to save 4-year-old

neighbor ShannLove Harden 6 displays hmade picture for little child who was burned. January 23 2013 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

neighbor Shannon Love Harden, 6, displays a hand made picture for the little child who was burned. January 23, 2013 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 25, 2013 12:11AM

When Clyde Harden heard a neighbor screaming “my sister’s on fire,” he ran upstairs to see what was going on Wednesday evening.

He entered the apartment above his unit in a brick two flat on the 1000 block of West 76th at about 7:30 p.m. to find a 4-year-old girl screaming as she sat on a bed mattress in flames.

He quickly used a towel to smother the flames on the youngster’s clothes.

“The baby was on fire, so I grabbed her and kind of held her away from me because her skin was peeling. She was crying, she put her head on my shoulder,” said Harden, a 55-year-old disabled veteran.

“She was in shock. It was scary because the burns were so severe,” he added, estimating about 40 percent of the girl’s body from her face to her legs was burned.

Another neighbor, Craig Wilson, filled up a pot with water and doused the flaming mattress.

Paramedics arrived about five minutes later.

The girl was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

The girl’s 16-year-old sister also was injured. The teen burned her hands while trying to save her younger sister , Wilson said. The teen was taken to Comer’s in good condition. Her 10-year-old brother also was brought to the hospital in good condition.

Neighbors say the three siblings were home alone.

The teen was the one who screamed for help.

The fire was put out quickly and mostly confined to the bed, Harden said.

Harden’s 6-year-old son, Shannon, said he missed the little girl and hopes she’s okay. “She’s my best friend,” he said, displaying a picture of the girl holding blue flowers that he drew after the incident.

Contributing: LeeAnn Shelton

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