Parents were at church when deadly fire started

Posted at 10:05 PM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 09:33:12-05

A community joined together to pray for a Sheboygan Falls family who lost their children.

Prayers filled the night at the church in Sheboygan the Maki family attended. According to their brother-in-law, they were there for their regular Tuesday night Bible study. Their 11-year-old daughter Natalie was home watching her three siblings.

"It was their normal schedule, you go to Bible study right around bedtime and the kids go to sleep," says Ryan Passini.

But Tuesday night wasn't like normal - a fire broke out in the home. Natalie and her 9-year-old sister Jenna got out. As Jenna ran in her bare feet in the snow to a neighbors for help, Natalie went back inside to try to save her brothers. Neighbor Gary Feldmann says he tried to go too but the fire was overwhelming.

“I put my head in there. I couldn’t even breathe, it was so hot, so full of smoke," Feldmann says.

Firefighters pulled the children from their home. Natalie and her 7-year-old brother Carter died.

Ben, 10, was taken to Children's hospital and is in critical condition.

Her uncle says he doesn't know if he could have done what Natalie did. He says she's a hero.

"Would you run into a house that is in flames, personally, would you? You would not. That 11-year-old did to save her family," Passini says.

Ben Maki is in critical condition at Children's Hospital. The family is asking for everyone's prayers.

There are two funds set up for the family. One at Northwestern Mutual, 407 E Mill St, Plymouth, WI 53073; the other is at Piggly Wiggly, 1166 Fond Du Lac Ave, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085.