A space heater is thought to be the cause of a fire that killed three young children in their El Reno home in Oklahoma on New Year’s day.
Three -year-old Gunner Ray Redbird, four year-old Amylah Dawn Redbird, and 22-month-old Mayley Jean Redbird were sleeping in their shared bedroom shortly before dawn when the fire started.
When firefighters arrived at the home, they saw the two parents, Jamez Redbird and Kee Yanna Osage, carrying the corpses of two of their children out of the smoke-filled home. Another yet-to-be identified adult was carrying the body of the third child.
Paramedics did their best to resuscitate the children on the way to mercy Hospital in El Reno, but were sadly unsuccessful.
"We are in total devastation right now."
These are the parents of the 3 young children killed in a fire New Year's Day pic.twitter.com/EDvkpFhKv6
— Caroline Vandergriff (@c_vandergriff) January 2, 2018
“Our children, they were loved by many people, and they impacted a lot of people,” Jamez Redbird told The Oklahoman.
“Little did we know that our little babies served their purpose, whatever it may be, and God called them home. We’re not asking for anything. If people want to donate, that’s fine. All we’re asking for is prayer.”
Melissa Goodblanket, Jamez Redbird’s aunt, posted on Facebook:
“To lose a child is horrific, to lose three at the same time is unimaginable. Universal powers hear my cry for help for them. I’m just so heartbroken…want to wipe away this pain for them…ease it somehow!
Thanks for all the prayers going up for them.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the distraught parents.
El Reno Firre Chief Kent Lagaly told NewsOK.com, “Once you experience something like this, you realize your focus goes toward the family.
“How the community is reaching out to this family is just incredible to me.”
Space Heater the Likely Cause
No official cause of death for the fire has been released but El Reno Firre Chief Kent Lagaly said the symptoms were those of smoke inhalation.
He also said that while it was not yet officially determined that the space heater started the blaze, people needed to be extremely careful when using them.
“This time of year you just really have to make sure that I know people don’t want their pipes to freeze and things like that but when you’re going to use an alternative heat source, you have to make sure that you’re doing it in the right way,” he told KFOR News.