NEOSHO, Mo. —
The Neosho community is coming together today to help a family cope with the loss of a child.
Liam Lane, 7, was killed in an early morning fire July 5 at his family’s mobile home south of Neosho.
Liam’s parents, Josh and Kassi Lane, and his 4-year-old sister, Sandra, were treated for smoke inhalation and released from the hospital.
In an effort to help the Lane family with expenses related to the fire, community organizers will stage the Angels in the Outfield Softball benefit beginning at 6 p.m. today in Neosho’s Morse Park.
Theresa Baker, a neighbor and friend, said the family lost their home and all of their possessions. In addition, she said, Kassi and Sandra Lane are still suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.
“They’re doing better, but they’re still having trouble,” she said. “We almost lost (Kassi) a couple of times within a few days of the fire. Sandra can only play for about 15 minutes, then she has to rest for an hour.”
According to Christopher Cox, education coordinator and respiratory therapist for Mercy Health System, complications of smoke inhalation can include thermal burns in the airways, swelling, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.
Cox said the symptoms of smoke inhalation often mimic those of the flu. He said if scarring of the airways occurs, it could take several weeks to recover, but he noted that studies indicate that most patients do not suffer long-term complications from smoke inhalation.
Baker said the short-term recovery is placing a financial burden on the family.
“They’re going to doctors about every other day,” she said.
Baker said today’s event will begin at 10 a.m. with a memorial service for Liam Lane at Calvary Baptist Church, 2650 Oak Ridge Extension in Neosho.
The softball games in Neosho’s Morse Park will continue from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. At 1:52 a.m. — the time the fire at the Lane home was reported — a candlelight vigil will be held.
Baker said many businesses and individuals donated to the event, which will also feature karaoke, a dunk tank, a 50/50 drawing, and a raffle of donated items. Baker said there will also be food and T-shirts for sale.
All proceeds from the event will go to cover the Lane family’s expenses as a result of the fire.
Baker said the level of community support has been “overwhelming.”
The community has been awesome,” she said. “It makes me proud to be from Neosho, Missouri.”