CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Cheektowaga police fire investigators are looking into an incident from this past Thursday where three children were burned.

The evening of May 26 started out as a family night in the backyard for the Czerniejewskis.

8-year-old Madison, 9-year-old twins Cadence and Kennedy, and 4-year-old Aria were roasting marshmallows at home on Jeffrey Drive when tragedy struck.

Police say “a small, alcohol-fueled fire being used to cook marshmallows spilled over.”

Richard Stark is the girls’ uncle. He says Kennedy wasn’t injured but the other three girls went up in flames.

After first responders went to the home around 8:30 p.m., all three children were taken to Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Aria and Madison were treated for burns on their lower legs and ankles and released.

Cadence, who was in critical condition, was airlifted to the Kessler Burn and Trauma Center in Rochester.

Stark said she has burns on the front of her arms and legs and her chest.

“It’s gonna be a long road to recovery, she suffered severe severe burns and it’s a day-to-day situation. She’s stabilized from the initial trauma,” he said. “There’s gonna be a lot of skin graft operations.”

“The mother of the children was present for the marshmallow roasting and at this point, there is nothing to suggest the occurrence was anything other than a tragic accident,” Cheektowaga police said

A GoFundMe page was set up by a friend and has already raised more than $47,000.

The girls’ mother Angie will be out of work for months to care for Cadence.

Stark thanked the community on behalf of the family, “Buffalo just continues to show the world that great love and kindness.”

There is also a drop-off location for other donations at Premier Property Management on the corner of Wehrle and Harris Hill in Williamsville. People can drop off items to suite 11 between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The GoFundMe says the family could use gift cards for DoorDash, Uber Eats, Wegmans, Tops, and gas stations, as well as arts and crafts, puzzles, and books.

Latest Posts

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.