On January 30, Illinois mom Shelby Carter lost her life in a tragic house fire, only days after her 21st birthday. Her infant daughter, Keana, was just 12-days-old when local firefighters arrived at the horrific scene. Miraculously, the infant was still alive, found strapped in her car seat outside of the home. Fire crews discovered her mom, Shelby Carter, dead on the second floor of her Galena Avenue residence.
According to fire chief Ed Fogelsonger, the Illinois mom did something truly heroic before she lost her life. As KWQC reports, Shelby Carter dropped her 12-day-old baby from her home’s second floor window, safely secured in her car seat, before Carter succumbed to the deadly effects of the fire.
The remains of the Illinois mom were reportedly found near the window from which she dropped her baby to safety.
Authorities report that Shelby Carter lived at the home with her baby, her boyfriend, and her mom, Kathy Hardy. To date, nobody is sure how the deadly blaze started, but the family reportedly “lost everything” in the fire.
Or almost everything. Due to the heroic final efforts of Illinois mom Shelby Carter, tiny Keana was not lost in the fire. The baby was taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation following the fire and her traumatic drop from her home’s second story window. Fortunately, the little girl wasn’t physically harmed in her ordeal.
“The good news is, the baby got home and is doing great.”
As Fox 13 Now reports, Shelby Carter’s mother credits her daughter’s quick thinking for the life of Keana, her infant grandaughter.
“Shelby made sure she was safe.”
— Stephen (@SW_Brooks) February 4, 2017
All I can saw is a Mothers love can't be beat.
— Kent Johnson (@d85e2fb5a7e3413) February 4, 2017
Friends, neighbors, and the family of Illinois mom Shelby Carter vow that they will remember the barely 21-year-old mother for her sacrifice — the ultimate sacrifice — adding that Shelby’s biggest dream in life was to be a mom. Something she got to do for only 11 days. However, because of the Illinois mom’s final act of selflessness, her tiny daughter will live on.
As Stacy Unhold, a friend of the Illinois mom, said to the media, those who knew Shelby are struggling themselves. Trying to come to terms with the unthinkable tragedy by shedding, “a lot of praying, a lot of tears.”
“A lot of not knowing what to do, you know, you wake up this morning and you just feel empty almost. It was really quiet this morning in town, very quiet.”
Others in the Wyoming, Illinois, community of the young mom remember Shelby as simply being “good.”
“Never caused any trouble, just a good girl, definitely a good girl.”
@KTLA tragic story it's amazing she had the foresight to save her daughter….
— Yo (@MarLado) February 4, 2017
@NYDailyNews what a hero!
— Raisingbull (@Raisingbull1) February 3, 2017
Shelby Carter has also been recognized for her infectious, memorable smile. However, those who knew the Illinois mom say that, while she was only able to enjoy her new role for such a short time, she was most memorable as being a wonderful mother.
“She was very not selfish, very unselfish and her heart and her love was that baby. For sure, she’s not going to be forgotten.”
Indeed, Shelby Carter’s love for her newborn was apparent in her final act, saving her little girl while sacrificing herself.
While fire officials are still not sure how the deadly, tragic house fire started, its cause is under investigation. However, in addition to losing Shelby in heroism, the family has literally lost almost everything else. Including all of the supplies and sundry items needed for the care of a newborn, a newborn who is miraculously still here because of the heroism of her new young mom.
— Patch Illinois (@PatchIllinois) February 2, 2017
Because the family of Shelby Carter lost so much, ambulance and fire stations in Wyoming, Illinois, are accepting donations of cash, diapers, clothes, and other necessities to help the family in this time of tragedy.
In addition to accepting donations locally, the family of Shelby Carter has also set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise necessary funds to offset the array of monetary hardships it is facing.
“They have lost everything and need our help. Most of the funds raised will be put in a trust for the granddaughter, Keana.
“All funds will be used and accessed at the discretion of Kathy Hardy and her family. I have no personal stake in this and I am just facilitating the page for them.”
So far, over $23,000 has been raised to assist the surviving family of Illinois mom Shelby Carter.
[Featured Image by Carter Family/Facebook]