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‘Sweetest little girl': Local father shares heartbreaking message after 2-year-old daughter dies in fire

MOUNT PLEASANT, Pa. — A 2-year-old girl died early Monday morning in a fire at a mobile home in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, officials said.

The fire was reported about 4 a.m. on Beacon Road.

Emergency dispatchers said there were reports of entrapment at the home before a coroner was called.

Family members identified the girl who died as Charli Lynn Marie Olson.

“Honestly, sweetest little girl you’d ever see. She had a smile on her face any time she walked around,” said her father Johnny Olson.

She was in her bedroom on one side of the house, while Olson, his wife and their 1-year-old son were on the other side.

He and his wife went in different directions to try to save their kids.

“She ran back in and got our 1-year old son out, and by the time I got to the other end of the house by where the fire was at to save our two year old daughter, it was too late,” Olson said.

Olson said he woke up around 4 a.m., breathing in nothing but smoke.

“I dealt with the fear of trying to run out of my bedroom. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I ended up getting shoved out of my bedroom window by my wife,” Olson said.

The mother, father and another child made it out of the home.

Keri Specht, who lives next door, saw the fire and heard her neighbors screaming.

“I called 911, came running out here and I noticed that the trailer was on fire and the mom came running to me. She’s like, ‘My baby’s in the trailer. My baby’s in there. Rescue her. Rescue her.’ Dad was trying to get her out,” Specht said. “I was talking to 911, but the flames were so high. The trailer was almost engulfed in flames and there was smoke everywhere. The mom was screaming. There was nothing to do.”

Family and friends spent the morning walking around all the debris. They even placed a cross in the middle of it all for Charli.

Investigators believe a wood-burning stove started the fire.

“I’ve grown up with wood burners in mobile homes my whole life. I’m 24 years old. From the time I was about 10 years old, I was stoking a wood burner just keeping warm during these types of cold days. I had a log burner in there last night to the point where it was nothing but a bed of coals and a log, and it caught,” Olson said.

While devastated, Olson wants people to learn from what happened to his family and to think twice about using a wood burner this winter.

“The weather sucks. I understand it is very cold. I’m freezing standing here, but it isn’t worth losing everything, let alone one of your children,” Olson said.

If you would like to help the family, click here to visit their GoFundMe.