Lancaster girl burned in fire celebrates recovery with firefighters


After six months in the hospital, a Lancaster girl is finally home. A house fire left her with serious burns, but now she’s recovering and ready to celebrate.

“I’m happy to be home,” said Nydia Solar, Gelianis Maldonado’s mom. “I thank God for everything.”

There was one thing Gelianis Maldonado, also known as Kely, wanted to do when she came home from the hospital. She wanted to ride in a firetruck, and that’s exactly what she did.

“We are still part of her support system if she needs us,” said Ryan Conklin, a Lancaster firefighter.

Saturday, Kely arrived back in Lancaster for the first time since Christmas night. 

Fire officials say she was at the hospital for six months, because an electrical fire burned 70% of her skin.

“It’s never easy to have a fire, especially with children burned, but when you have one on Christmas night, it’s kind of like a double whammy,” said Battalion Chief Ken Barton. “It’s just wonderful to see her today, be able to walk like she did, climb into the engine and take the ride.”

With a big smile on her face, Kely rode all around her favorite city, passing her school, and getting dropped off at her new house.

Family, friends, firefighters and city leaders celebrated Kely’s recovery.

“No matter what happened to her skin, we still think she’s beautiful, and that’s what I love about my sister, because she’s strong and she’s brave and she doesn’t care what anybody thinks,” said Genesis Soler, Kely’s sister. 

When ABC27 talked to Kely, she said she wanted to thank the firefighters, including Conklin, who treated her the night of the fire and has kept in touch ever sense. 

“Talked to her on the phone, made a couple visits, brought some of the members up when she was up in Allentown we brought her some gifts too, said Conklin.

Now, the Lancaster Fire Dept. is part of Kely’s family too. Her sister says she is ready to help Kely heal, every step of the way.

“Her walking will get better as the time goes,” said Genesis Soler. “It’s going to be a big challenge, but I know she’s got this.”

Kely will start laser therapy next week, and hopes to get a therapy dog. 

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