RIENZI, Miss. — A woman and two children died in a mobile home fire in northern Mississippi.on Monday.
Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell told news outlets the fire was reported late Monday morning near Rienzi.
Coroner Jay Jones said the victims were 46-year-old Samantha Mason, 5-year-old Crystlyn Brewer and 2-year-old Dakota Brassfield. Mason died in the home, and the children died after being taken to the hospital.
According to authorities, one of the children was taking apart a basket and putting pieces into a propane heater.
“When I went down the road 10 minutes before, there was no sign of a fire,” neighbor Jerry Brasden said. “When I got back, it was coming out of all the walls on this end.”
Brasden said at first, he thought his house was burning, but as he got as he got closer, he realized his neighbors were the ones in distress on County Road 540 in Rienzi.
Brasden said four people were living in the home—the three deceased and a woman who was the children’s mother and Mason’s daughter, who made it out alive.
“The grandmother had had a stroke, and I guess that is why she couldn’t get out,” Brasden said.
As the flames overtook the home—Brasden said it destroyed the mother, who stood by helpless.
Brasden still rides his tractor just as he would any other day, but now there’s an eerie feeling where he once felt joy passing the mobile home, going from seeing two playful children in the front yard to seeing a pile of rubble where the mobile home once stood.
Jones said the bodies are being sent to Pearl, Mississippi, for autopsies.
There was a smoke alarm in the house, but those inside the home were trapped by the fire.