Community Mourns Two Adair Public School Students Lost To Fire
ADAIR, Oklahoma - Families are mourning the loss of a grandmother, her two grandchildren and their uncle who died in a Sunday morning fire near Ketchum.
The Grand Lake community of Ketchum is in mourning after the family died in a fire in a mobile home just north of town.
State fire investigators believe the fire started early Sunday morning somewhere in the living room - either near a wood-burning stove or a portable heater.
Investigators said the grandmother, Betty Yust, called 911 about the fire and the line cut off with dispatchers.
Yust, her two grandchildren - Kyana and Benjamin Wilkins - and their uncle, Marty Yust, died in the fire.
The small communities are in shock after the loss of three generations of family members.
The children attended Adair Schools; the superintendent, Tom Linihan, said he ran into the 14 and 12 year olds on several occasions because of the small campus.
"The last thing we thought about when we hugged these kids and sent them home Friday afternoon was that was the last time we had the opportunity to do that and not see them again. So obviously it's shocking news to get that over the weekend that you lost two of your family...we're like a family," Linihan said.
He said he remembers Kyana and Benjamin very well.
"Everybody knew them. They're just great kids - kids that would brighten your day, kids that would always have a smile on their face. They enjoyed being in school; we were lucky to have them in the short time we had them," Linihan said.
He said school counselors are helping everyone through the mourning process. He recommends parents check in with their kids during this difficult time.
The superintendent said, "When your kids get home today, give them a big hug, talk to them about it - that's the most important thing. This is a life learning experience for those kids.”
Fire investigators are ruling the fire accidental.
If you'd like to help the family two memorial funds have been set up. The Kyana and Benjamin Wilkins Memorial Fund at the Red Crown Credit Union in Pryor and the Yust Family Memorial Fund at the Oklahoma State Credit Union in Langley.