Girl, 5, and Her Grandparents Killed in Iowa House Fire: 'It Feels Like a Nightmare,' Says Mother

Joelle Goldstein
·3 min read

GoFundMe Taylor Treanton

An Iowa mother has been left heartbroken after her 5-year-old daughter was killed in a house fire alongside her grandparents.

Maggie Meade said she's still struggling to accept the fact that her daughter, Taylor Treanton, and Taylor's grandparents, Robert and Mary Wickham, are no longer alive after the Jan. 14 blaze, ABC affiliate WQAD reported.

"It still feels like a nightmare that I want to wake up from, and I'm never gonna wake up from it," she told the outlet. "She meant the world to everybody."

The fire initially broke out at the home on Riverview Lane in Bettendorf around 5:40 a.m., according to a statement from the Bettendorf Police Department.

When crews arrived, they learned that four people were inside — one of whom had escaped on their own and three others who were still trapped inside, authorities stated.

The three individuals were eventually rescued and all four people were transported to hospitals, police said.

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Authorities later confirmed that a 66-year old male and a 5-year old female — identified as Robert and Taylor — died of smoke inhalation at the hospital.

A 63-year old female — identified as Mary — was initially reported to be in critical condition, but died from her injuries by Saturday, police confirmed to PEOPLE.

As for the 18-year old male, Jodd Wickham — the only occupant to escape the fire — he suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital, according to authorities.

Meade told WQAD that Treanton lived with Robert, Mary and Jodd, and that she was at work when the house broke out in flames.

The grieving mother spoke highly of her daughter, noting how she was incredibly bright and always used her manners.

"She had the biggest smile. She was very polite," she told the outlet of Treanton. "[Taylor said] her 'please's' and 'thank you's' before and after everything."

"She could spell her name and write it out, and she could say her ABCs and count to 40," Meade added to WQAD of the Neil Armstrong Elementary School student.

Meade also noted how the little girl had a special bond with her grandparents.

"Bob and Mary -— they loved that child," Meade shared with the outlet. "They'd always talk about her."

In the wake of the tragedy, a GoFundMe page was set up to help Meade with Treanton's funeral and memorial expenses. So far, the page has raised over $7,500.

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"I can't express the gratitude I have for everybody, for the kind words and donations," Meade told WQAD of the support.

According to the outlet, Meade is planning to hold a private visitation and service for her daughter this week.

The GoFundMe states that a public memorial for Treanton is expected to be held later in the spring.

Until then, Meade said she's finding comfort in the legacy that her daughter has unknowingly left behind.

"They say there's a purpose for everybody, and I think Taylor's purpose when she passed away was to bring everyone together, and that's exactly what she's doing," she told WQAD. "I know she's looking down at everybody right now and just smiling."

Those interested in donating to Meade's GoFundMe page can so do here.