Burned Fla. Mother, Kids Have Long Road to Recovery

They owe their lives to a Palm Beach deputy, who broke a window to rescue them.


June 09--The woman and her three children who were severely burned early Friday when their home west of Lantana broke out in flames are slowly recovering but still have a long way to go, a family member said Sunday.

Youseline Herisse, 38, and her sons Harley, 13, Owens, 7, and Walker, 6, are at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where they're receiving treatment for severe burns and scars, scrapes and burn marks on their faces and bodies.

While they are in stable condition, they are hooked up to oxygen machines to help them breathe, said Benny Herisse, her nephew and the boys' cousin. Herisse said he hasn't been able to talk to either his aunt or his cousins because of the machines.

"My cousin still smells like the smoke," Herisse, 23, said of Harley.

The family is alive today, many have said, because a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy broke through a window of the Chickasha Road home early Friday. The mother and children were taken to Delray Medical Center and then transferred to the Miami burn unit, which handles many of South Florida's more severe burn injuries.

Fire investigators say the blaze started from an electrical malfunction at the home, which is south of Lantana Road and east of Lawrence Road. Herisse said he was told the electrical box outside the residence was overloaded and exploded.

The mother and children are expected to remain in the hospital for about one more week, and will then likely go to a rehabilitation center.

Benny Herisse said his uncle, Eltony Herisse, is trying to cope with his family's injuries. He wasn't at home at the time of the fire.

"He's trying to hang in there," Herisse said. "You have to hold your head up straight and make sure everything gets better."

Anyone who would like to help the family with medical costs is asked to send a donation to The Herisse Family at 6273 Wauconda Way W. in Lake Worth, FL 33463.

Copyright 2014 - The Palm Beach Post, Fla.