Victims In Cherokee Co. Fatal Fire Identified

Wednesday, December 10th 2008, 11:24 am
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, News On 6

ELDON, OK -- The state medical examiner's office has released the names of the two children who died in a mobile home fire in Cherokee County early Sunday.

The fire happened in the Eldon community East of Tahlequah.

Investigators say the foster mom who cared for children in her rural home and her husband made it out of the burning home safely, but she was injured when she went back inside her home to rescue two foster children.

According to the state medical examiner's office, the mobile home fire killed 10-year-old Shyann Garcia and 6-year-old Rachel Newberry.

Their 76-year-old foster mother, Anna May Buzzard, suffered 2nd degree burns to more than 50% of her body.

Her family tells The News On 6 she loved having children in her home.

Those who know her say Anna Mae Buzzard has a heart of gold. She's taken in hundreds of foster children over the past 40 years, giving them a loving environment. In fact, she was honored recently as one of the longest serving, if not the longest serving foster parent in state history.

Buzzard has received some skin grafts and is in a medically induced coma. She is in critical condition.

Investigators have confirmed the fire started near a wood burning stove in the living room.

The state fire marshal's office tells The News On 6 damage is too severe to determine if the house had a working smoke detector.

Related story:

12/9/2008  Two Children Killed In Rural Cherokee Co. Fire