The 6-year-old girl badly burned in her metro home is recovering at Cincinnati's Shriners Hospital burn unit and her father said her recovery is slowly progressing.
On Monday Tah'Mia Gorman was a normal, fun-loving 6-year-old. By Tuesday night she was a burn victim, fighting for her life. Now she's an inspiration to her family as she recovers at a hospital in Cincinnati.
"Tah'Mia is doing so great, she's advancing more and more every day. Today she held her own juice bottle," Timothy Gorman, Tah'Mia's father, said.
Both of her parents are now there with her and said she's even managing to walk around a little again.
"She told me 'daddy accidents happen' and she knows she's going to get better," Gorman said. "And she's really helping me handle myself up here with the good spirit she has."
Tah'Mia suffered third and fourth-degree burns when her hair caught fire as she walked past the running stove.
"I heard my daughter Tah'Mia scream, the most horrible scream I've ever heard in my life," Gorman said. "As I opened up the door I saw my baby's face and her head on fire."
Gorman and a friend put out the flames, but the damage was bad.
The family said the only reason the gas stove was running in the first place was because the furnace in their house was broken and they said the landlord wouldn't come fix it.
The moments Gorman had seeing and putting out the flames that covered his daughter are ones he'll never forget.
"This is really reality, this is something we have to deal with, it did not have to happen," he said.
He said they had the stove on to generate a little heat because their home's furnace was broken. He said he asked he asked several times for his landlord to come fix it, but it didn't happen until Friday, after several friends got involved and called the landlord too.
"I feel like we shouldn't have to take those measures in order for him to come fix something in the house, especially when something he should have fixed hurt my child, could have killed my child," Gorman said.
KCTV5's Alice Barr spoke to the landlord of the home Friday and he said he doesn't see it that way. He said he responded promptly to fix the furnace once he knew there was a problem.
Tah'Mia's family believes a hair product they'd used on her was flammable, though the box doesn't mark it that way.
KCTV5 found the product maker has been sued before for similar incidents. They have not returned calls for comment.
Tah'Mia's family has hired a lawyer and they're deciding on their next steps.
"We're not in to hurt nobody, not trying to make no money, we just need help," Gorman said. "The more she's telling me she's understanding it feels like a dream, but this is really reality, this is something we have to deal with."
The family said their true focus is helping their little girl. They are thanking everyone for their prayers of support.
If somebody needs support in a landlord dispute, the Missouri Attorney General's Office offers the following information, saying landlords should:
Make and pay for repairs because of ordinary wear and tear.
Refrain from turning off a tenant's water, electricity or gas.
1997 provisions make a landlord guilty of forcible entry for willfully interrupting utility service, unless it is done for health and safety reasons.
The Attorney General suggests hiring a private attorney if a person has a serious dispute.
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