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Family of 6-year-old east Toledo burn victim says he is recovering after deadly house fire last month

Family members of 6-year old Derek Wozniak say he is recovering from burns that cover about 35% of his body.

TOLEDO, Ohio — New information came out about the deadly housefire that happened last month in east Toledo. A child is still in the hospital recovering from severe burns he received more than three weeks ago after surviving the fire. 

6-year old Derek Wozniak was inside the building when a fire broke out almost a month ago. Wozniak is still in the hospital recovering from burns that cover about 35% of his body.

Derek was one of the three people inside the home on Mott Ave when it caught fire on July 13th. Derek and his mother survived the fire, but his grandmother died from her injuries in the hospital, making her one of the seven fatal fire victims in Toledo this year. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Credit: Amy Steigerwald

"We've been waiting for just something, you know give us something to show us how strong he is," Derek's aunt Candice Wilson said. "He's definitely getting stronger. The doctors and nurses there are doing a wonderful job."

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Wilson said Derek was life-flighted to Ann Arbor and is still recovering there. He is making progress in the hospital every day and even manage to crack a smile for family members the other day. The past month was very difficult for them but they are hopeful he will continue to make progress.

"Watching him have to go through this, it's really heartbreaking," Wilson said. "But you know, we're holding onto the little things, the little improvements which aren't really little: they're huge! He's not on the ventilator anymore, his wounds are healing well," said Wilson. 

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Family members are hoping Derek will be able to leave the hospital in the coming weeks as he continues to improve. 

A GoFundMe fundraiser was set up to raise money to cover the costs of Derek's medical treatment. The page can be accessed here

Credit: Amy Steigerwald
Derek Wozniak

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