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Family of 3-year old killed in house explosion speaks about heartbreaking loss

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NuVeah Lucas

3-year-old NuVeah Lucas died when her house exploded in the 3900 block of Hogarth Avenue in Flint.

The family of 3-year-old NuVeah Lucas talked about how they are processing her death after their house exploded on Hogarth Avenue in Flint.

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The family of a 3-year-old killed in Monday night's house explosion in Flint is in shock days later.

The blast ripped through the family's home in the 3900 block of Hogarth Avenue. Investigators are still trying to find the cause of the explosion.

"She said she's gone. She said mama, I tried to get her," said the grandmother of 3-year-old NuVeah Lucas, whose body was found in the rubble Tuesday.

The family doesn't know what caused the explosion. As they wait for more answers, they are relying heavily on their faith to get them through this.  

"We were just running and I just knew to go to the front of the house to see if it was a chance to get my daughter. I can see right through the window. Everything was on top of her. Everything was on top of her. I tried," said NuVeah's mom, Alyshia Elbert.

Family identifies 3-year-old killed in Flint house explosion

Elbert's voice cracked with obvious pain as she recalled the explosion that rocked her home Monday night, killing her 3-year-old daughter NuVeah.

"Everything happened so fast. The ceiling just fell and I just hear David screaming my name and saying what happened," Elbert said.

David is Alyshia's boyfriend. He is now fighting for his life after shielding her from the blast and then the fire that destroyed their home.

"He used his body. He's a hero. Yeah, he definitely is because it could have been way more tragic than this. Because of what he did, he saved and now he's fighting for his life. Seventy percent of his body is burned," said  Athena Simmerson, who is NuVeah's grandmother and Alyshia's mom.

Simmerson said they've had to endure comments from critics questioning if David and Alyshia did everything they could to try to save the little girl even as they try to process the loss of little NuVeah.

"Until you are in a situation like that, you don't know how you're going to know what you have time to do. So it's just really an insensitive and unfortunate that is people out there like that make comments like that," Simmerson said.

A Flint mother recalls the terrifying moments when her home exploded, injuring her loved one and claiming the life of her little girl.

But she said there has also been a tremendous amount of support from the community. She is grateful for the support and for the efforts of the first responders that night and during the search for NuVeah.

"I know that they had to be very emotional for them, and I'm so thankful to all of them for all of their hard work,"  Simmerson said.

The family also expressed their condolences to the family of the other victim -- a 55-year-old woman who lived next door.

Funeral arraignments for NuVeah are still in the works. Click here for information about how to make a donation for the family.

Anchor/Reporter

Cheri Hardmon anchors ABC12 News on weekend evenings and works as a reporter on weekdays

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