Fire Marshal: Door, Window Blocked In Deadly Weleetka House Fire

Thursday, August 19th 2010, 1:23 pm
By: News On 6

OKMULGEE, OKLAHOMA -- Assistant Oklahoma Fire Marshal JoAnne Sellars says two potential escape routes were blocked in a Weleetka home where a fire killed six.

She said Thursday that three victims were found in a bedroom where the window was boarded and a second possible route was a back door -- but it was completely blocked.

She says the other three victims were found in another bedroom -- but didn't know if the window there was blocked.

The Monday fire killed 45-year-old Renee Buck, 32-year-old LaToya Bush, 9-year-old Kurstyn Pelegrin, 10-year-old Triston Pelegrin, 3-year-old James Southern and 2-year-old Barbara Southern.

The only survivor -- 8-year-old Tavis Southern -- said he ran through flames and out the front door.

A cause of the fire has not been determined but it isn't considered suspicious.

Meanwhile, four of the six victims were laid to rest Thursday.

8/18/2010 Related story: Funeral Thursday Morning For Four Weleetka Fire Victims

Services for Renee Buck, Latoya Bush, Triston and Kursten Pelegrin were held Thursday morning at the Crosstown Pentecostal Church in Okmulgee.

"There's not one person that I can look at in the eyes and say that they didn't lose something," said Brian Pelegrin, Triston and Kurstyn's father.

Renee loved music, dancing and watching kids. And that's what she was doing when the fire broke out.

Triston loved football. He attended Weleetka Public Schools along with his sister. Kurstyn liked cheerleading and her dog.

"They are just like their mom, just like their mama. They had great personalities," said Johnna Doucette, a family friend.

Loved ones say Latoya was a tom boy as a girl and grew up to be a true "country" woman. She knew no strangers.

"A lot of you only knew her as Latoya or Toya, but all my life she was Sissy," said Terry Clark, Latoya's brother. "She'll always be my sissy."

"I know that's how they wanted to go. If they would have had a choice, they would have gone just the way they did," Brian Pelegrin said.

Pictures flashed through the memories of better times, bringing both laughter and tears. Then came the hardest part.

"Having to say goodbye to my friend," Doucette said. "I'm going to miss her."

All four were buried at the First Indian Baptist Church Cemetery in Okmulgee.

Funeral arrangements are still pending for two other fire victims, James and Barbara Southern.

There are plans being made for a community-wide prayer service in Weleetka on September 12.

The Associated Press contributed to this report