Funeral Thursday Morning For Four Weleetka Fire Victims


Wednesday, August 18th 2010, 12:51 pm
By: News On 6


Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Four of the six victims in the Monday, August 16, 2010 deadly house fire in Weleetka will be remembered Thursday morning.  Funeral services for Renee Buck, Latoya Bush, Tristen and Kursten Pelegrin will be held in Okmulgee. 

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Crosstown Pentecostal Church in Okmulgee. All four will be buried at the First Indian Baptist Church Cemetery in Okmulgee.

Funeral arrangements are still pending for James and Barbara Southern. There are plans being made for a community-wide prayer service in Weleetka on September 12.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office has ruled that the six people killed in a house fire in Weleetka died of smoke inhalation. 

Spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard said Wednesday that the deaths of each of the six has been ruled accidental.

 Killed in the Monday morning fire were 2-year-old Barbara Southern; her 3-year-old brother James; 46-year-old Renee Buck; 34-year-old Latoya Bush and her children, 9-year old Kurstyn Pelegrin and 11-year-old Triston Pelegrin. 

Only 8-year-old Tavis Southern escaped the burning home. The boy says a smoke alarm awoke him. 

Investigators have not determined a cause of the fire but have said it does not appear suspicious.

Buck was babysitting 8-year-old Tavis Southern, along with his three-year-old brother James and two-year-old sister Barbara, when the fire broke out. Tavis managed to escape the burning house and call for help. He was the only person to survive.

Tavis' mother, Crystal Kelough is five months pregnant. She was working an overnight shift at a nursing home when the fire broke out as the others slept.

8/17/2010  Related Story: Mother Of Children Who Died In Weleetka House Fire 'Overwhelmed'

Counselors and ministers have been speaking with students as the community begins to heal. Schools in town have lowered their flags

Investigators said they believe the fire started in the living room and may have been an electrical fire.

Memorial funds have been set up for the families of the victims:

Renee Buck Memorial Fund
Citizens Security Bank & Trust
P.O. Box 248
Weleetka, Oklahoma 74880
405-786-2447

Latoya Bush & Children Memorial Fund
Citizens Security Bank & Trust
P.O. Box 248
Weleetka, Oklahoma 74880
405-786-2447

James and Barbara Southern Memorial Fund
Citizens Security Bank & Trust
P.O. Box 248
Weleetka, Oklahoma 74880
405-786-2447

The Associated Press contributed to this story.