Fire Fueled By Oxygen Tanks Kills Four Children, Grandmother - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/10/06-Harrison County

Fire Fueled By Oxygen Tanks Kills Four Children, Grandmother

Investigators sifted through rubble, and they say they've found the cause of a massive fire at a Harrison County mobile home.  A malfunctioning oxygen machine is suspected to have caused the raging fire.

Seven people were inside the home around 11:30 Monday night, but only two had made it out alive. 

The home is located along FM 450 just southeast of Ore City.   Relatives say they heard explosions at the home and by the time they could get to the door, the home was aflame, nearly from end to end.

Cousin Tamila Sayles rushed to the scene.

"I heard everyone saying, 'There's people in the house.' And I didn't know how to react to that because it was my best friend [inside]." 

Tamila's friend, 12-year-old TeShareme Davison died at a local hospital, as did four-year-old Nathaniel Brown. 

75-year-old Laura Patton and her two grandchildren, four-year-old Da'Marcus King and 11-year-old Destiny Graham were found dead in a front bedroom.

Tamila and many others say there was little they could do except in a small part of the house where little C.J. Brown was brought out. He is three years old and was burned.

"I noticed he wasn't breathing, and I gave him mouth-to-mouth, and he started breathing. And I put him on the couch and covered him up," Tamila said.

C.J. was reported in fair condition at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport early Tuesday evening.  51-year-old Clara Patton was also taken to a Longview hospital with what a family member says was a minor injury. 

When the oxygen machine malfunctioned and caught fire, investigators say explosions and raging flames from the tanks made things worse.

"The oxygen had to have fueled it when the tanks started melting down. This spread pretty rapidly," said Harrison County Fire Marshal Dennis Engdahl at the scene after determining the cause.  He told KLTV 7 it had yet to be determined how much insurance, if any, the family had on the structure or its contents.

Smoke alarms were working, and Engdahl said they alerted everyone inside.

Now, members of this close extended family and other close friends say they'll rest on each other and their faith.

Family member Isaac Espy told us "[The family has] got to work through the Lord, through the grace of God, and we're all going to work together to help them through it."

If you'd like to help the family, you can give by calling or dropping by the Security State Bank in Ore City.  Designate your donation is intended for the Patton Family Fund.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com

 

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