Va. House Fire Kills 2 Young Brothers, Injures 3 Other Family Members: 'Devastating'

Cody and Liam Slayton, 8 and 4, died in the blaze, while their stepmother, sister and father were injured

Cody & Liam Slayton
Photo: GoFundMe

Two "fun-loving" young brothers were killed and their 10-week-old sibling, father and stepmother were injured in a Virginia house fire early Monday, officials said.

Cody Slayton, 8, and Liam Slayton, 4, died after the blaze broke out just before 4 a.m. at a two-story home on Flynn Road in North Chesterfield, the Chesterfield County Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services said in a press release.

One of the children reportedly died at the scene, while the other died en route to the hospital. The boys' stepmother Michal and younger sister Kinsley were hospitalized in critical condition, while their father Hunter was in stable condition, according to a GoFundMe page.

Neighbor Thelma Lane said Hunter and Michal managed to make it out of the house with their newborn in tow, but frantically tried to get their sons out, too.

"I got up and he said, 'The house is in flames and the boys are in there,'" Lane told ABC affiliate WRIC. "So I came out here screaming and next thing I knew, they were handing me the baby. She tried so hard to get them boys out, they both did, just circling the house."

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Lane, who said she considers herself a grandmother to Cody and Liam, told NBC affiliate WWBT the scene was "like a dream," and that she "couldn't stop screaming."

A second GoFundMe page raising money for the boys' mother Kristen Slayton said Cody and Liam were visiting their father when the blaze broke out, and that Kristen is now "faced with a tragedy no mother should have to face."

"If you know Kristen you know Cody and Liam were her world," the page said. "She was the absolute best mom to those boys and they adored her so much."

Marty McLain, Kristen's father, told WWBT that his grandsons were "bright, energetic, fun-loving boys."

"It's the most devastating nightmare you can imagine. It's everyone's worst nightmare," he said. "Never take for granted the love you have for those kinds of kids, for your children, for your grandchildren, because you never [know] when the last time you see them is going to be the last time you get to see them. That's what happened to us."

McLain said Cody was an adventurous child about to start third grade who loved reptiles, frogs and turtles, while his younger brother Liam was a fan of ice cream and being in the water.

Liam was born with a developmental disability, but had made "tremendous strides" during his short life, he told WWBT.

"Cody would get up every morning and the first thing he would do is seek out Liam and give him a great big hug, and it was wonderful," McLain told the outlet. "They had infectious laughs. They laughed together and nobody could make Liam laugh like Cody."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to the release.

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