Early morning fire kills 5

Published 7:36 pm Saturday, March 6, 2010

MARION JUNCTION — Authorities do not yet know the identities of five people, including three children, who have died in a fire in a rural area near here.

Dallas County Coroner Alan Dailey said Saturday the remains of the man, woman and three children are at the state forensics lab for identification.

“We can’t release any names. We have not notified the next of kin and they are not positively identified,” Dailey said.

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Authorities responded to the mobile home fire on Dallas County Road 188 early Saturday morning, shortly after midnight.

“All indications were it was an accident,” said Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman. “We are continuing to investigate.”

The sheriff said a man, woman and three children, ages 3, 6, and 7 were victims of the fire.

Little more than the front concrete steps, brick foundation and charred boards of flooring were left of the structure. An ash-covered black Pontiac Bonneville was undamaged nearby.

Appliances warped by the extreme heat sat on what remained of the flooring. Metal bed springs, some clothing and appliances were scattered over the debris.

The roof to the structure rested upside down in the back yard. Firefighters had to remove the roof, which had collapsed, to allow recovery of the bodies, according to the coroner.

Two dogs, believed to belong to the man who owned the mobile home, sniffed around in the ashes.

Family friends who live nearby visited what was left of the structure Saturday to inspect the damage and take photographs.

They said the structure belonged to Willie Oden, who had recently moved to the location. The two men did not know the woman or children who are believed victims of the fire.

Huffman said a neighbor noticed the fire and called 911 shortly after midnight.

Volunteer firefighters, Dailey and deputies responded.