BRYAN, Texas — After being sedated and intubated for well over a day following Tuesday's house fire, one member of the McPeake family has passed away.
Organizers for the McPeake family GoFundMe campaign announced on Thursday that Trish Ragland, mother to Jon Paul McPeake, died while surrounded by family at a Houston hospital.
She had suffered a serious injury after trying to escape Tuesday’s house fire on Carter Creek Parkway in Bryan. The online campaign notes she had already endured serious health issues before the day of the tragedy.
“Due to the heat and the smoke inside the home, she was not able to get out back through the front door, so she tried to get out the window," relayed Ethan Ballard, deputy lieutenant fire marshal with the city of Bryan.
A neighbor told KRHD that they tried to help Ragland climb out that window, but she was still unable to maneuver through. Jon McPeake was able to save most of his family, pulling them out of the fire, but Ballard said that Ragland was in a particularly difficult spot for even the firefighters to assist.
“Yeah, even having an escape plan, it may not have even helped her," Ballard said. "... What we did was what we call a 'vent enter search,' or VES, where our guys actually go into the window, close the door, and then they try to search the room and rescue the occupant... With that, they started the fire extinguishment, and the other crews grabbed hose lines to help put out the fire.”
The GoFundMe notes that Ragland passed away surrounded by family.
The McPeakes continue to publicly express their gratitude towards the community during this dark time of losing their belongings, pets, and their loved ones.
The mother of the family, Brittany McPeake, gave this statement to KRHD:
“This community has been phenomenal to us," she wrote. "We have so many donations we are trying to get through. I am overjoyed with the support we have received.”
As of Thursday afternoon, more than $25,000 had been raised for the family on GoFundMe. Another friend has started a Mealtrain sign-up schedule for the community to bring food to the family of six.
Those campaigns can be reached here: