Family speaks out on fatal December Davenport fire

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 11:01 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - On Dec. 23, an apartment fire on 42nd Street in Davenport took the life of 31-year-old Marissa Lard and left her four-year-old son Markyus in critical condition.

That day, her father, Troy Lard, received a call from Davenport Fire officials and made his way from Houston to the Quad Cities as soon as he could. However, winter weather delayed his arrival.

The tragedy has left him making arrangements for his daughter’s funeral while trying to file for custody of his grandson.

“It sucks,” Lard said. “How you tell the kid, his mom’s gone? Forever? His life is gonna change immensely.”

Lard grew up in the QC and now works in Houston. The holidays and weather made grieving the tragedy so much harder for him.

He remembers Marissa as a strong and loving mother to her son, Ky as his family calls him.

“[She was] independent ... she loved her son, and she would do anything for him,” Lard said. “She loved her family. She was family oriented. All of her cousins adore and love her.”

Lard said Ky suffered third-degree burns on about 25% of his body. He is now in Iowa City recovering.

“My grandson, he was energetic and smart, little boy. Persevering ... He loved his mom, loved his mom a lot,” Lard said. “He’s breathing on his own for the most part. He’s still on a breathing machine. He’s doing better, every day is a small gain, but a gain nonetheless.”

Lard said the holidays held up paperwork to make funeral arrangements. As of Tuesday, he says he still doesn’t have his daughter’s death certificate.

In the days since the fire, he said he’s only had his grandson on his mind.

“It sucks, but I feel for the little guy,” Lard said. “Then I can’t even grieve for myself because I’m grieving for him.”

Lard is also making arrangements to transfer his grandson to the Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas.

The Davenport Fire Department is still investigating the incident, they have not yet released the cause of the fire.