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Whether it's Michelle Obama's health initiatives or programs to make school lunches more healthy, there has been an increasing focus on America's increasing waistline and obesity epidemic.

A suburban community is realizing that there are even more consequences to being overweight than simply high blood pressure and diabetes.

According to WREX in Rockford, Ill., a fire began in a one-story home just before 4:00 a.m. Monday. The two parents, Joe and Delores Herron, escaped, but when firefighters arrived, their daughter and two foster sons, ages 10 and 11, were still trapped inside.

Firefighters were able to get the two boys out through the window, but they could not lift the girl, Jamaya, through.

Investigators say she weighed more than 500 pounds

Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia said "that [the weight] did hamper the fire department and fire rescuers from taking her out a window. They did have to bring her out the door and in doing that, two firefighters we're actually injured."

By then, it was too late for Jamaya.

The daughter of a pastor and a singer at the church died at the scene. Fire Chief Derek Bergsten, stated:

"They gave 110 percent, did their best and sometimes we're not able to save everyone, but we were able to get two individuals out of that structure alive."

Investigators say Jamaya died from breathing smoke. There will be an autopsy later this week.

Fannie Barbee, a relative of the family, says, "She was very faithful in the church. Whenever I go over there, she was a really nice person."

This is just one more example of the adverse impact obesity is having on America's young people. It is no longer about vanity. In addition to health consequences, there are consequences with regard to public safety. It is the community's and the parent's responsibility to make sure that we don't have 500-pound teenagers. This young woman's death is unfortunate and was probably preventable and likely so was her obesity.
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The two parents, Joe and Delores Herron, escaped, but when firefighters arrived, their daughter and two foster sons, ages 10 and 11, were still trapped inside.
The parents got out and left ALL the children in the fire?     It seems strange that they couldn't get this girl out of a ONE STORY building, even though she was large....How did the parents get out?
What? did only one or two firefighters show up?  However, she probably was dead when they got to her; with all that weight on her lungs already, the smoke from inhaling one cigarette probably would have killed her.  It does seem awful that the parents got out, but could not get their children.  I knew of a mother and brother who did the same thing years ago and people would not let them live it down.  What we forget often is the fact that when the mind goes into primal survival mode, basic instinct subconsciously takes over first ---- then you become consciously aware of the situation.  The parents were probably out of the house before they consciously themselves, while still in subconscious survival mode.  

I have experienced this myself when I was young, me and my friends were in a house at night talking, etc., then guys from the neighborhood made howling monster sounds while beating on the side of the house and window.  Before I knew it I had literally taken the door off the henges (and for some reason took the time to lean it against the porch wall)----and then took off running. Afterwards everyone kept asking me why I didn't just open the door, and I couldn't tell them, -- I didn't know why.  I didn't remember doing it at all, it still seems like I dreamed it.  I don't believe I gave a second thought to my friends before trying to get out.  So . . . I think sometimes basic human instinct takes over before you have a chance to think of anything, even love ones, friends, etc.
Last edited by sunnubian

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