Four People Dead In Cherokee County Mobile Home Fire
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Authorities say four people are dead after a mobile home caught fire in the Park Hill area south of Tahlequah early Friday. Two were adult women, one adult man and a 3-year-old boy.
A state fire marshal says there are no signs foul play.
Dead are Connie Pitchett, Becky Hooper, Frosty Chase and 3-year-old Jeremiah Henson.
The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office says four others in the home escaped the fire.
The home is located in the 21100 block of South Keeler in the South Breeze Mobile Manor park.
Victoria James said it was her sister, 3-year-old nephew, the sister's boyfriend and her sister's friend who all died in the fire. James said the home's owner, his wife and daughter got out alive. She still can barely find words to say how she feels after losing her family, especially her nephew.
"He didn't deserve this. He didn't deserve this at all," she said. "This little boy, he was full of life, you know. He always had a smile on his face. There was never anything wrong with him."
The Tahlequah Fire Department said the home caught fire at about 2:15 a.m. Firefighters had the fire out in about 20 minutes then found four bodies inside.
Neighbors reported hearing an explosion at the time the fire started.
Isaac Collins tried to save the victims.
"It got real big, and someone opened the door and yelled, 'fire, fire someone get the baby,'" Collins said.
"I tried to run down the hallway, and I couldn't even run down the hallway because something had dropped and just busted. Like fell from the roof."
When the home started collapsing around him, Collins said he got out and tried to get the victims out a window, but the opening was too small.
Investigators say the fire doesn't look suspicious, but they will be bringing dogs to the scene to look for accelerants.
There were no smoke detectors present.
An investigator from the state Fire Marshal's Office is on scene trying to determine the cause of the fire.