A house fire in Oklahoma City claimed the lives of five people early Wednesday morning. The tragedy has left four children and their mother dead while severely injuring another resident.
In the hours before dawn on December 26, a fire broke out at a two-story, wood frame house located at 2816 Dorchester Drive. Arriving at approximately 6:30 am, firefighters fought through the blaze and located the five bodies. Fire Department Major Tammy McKinney said the following:
“When we got on scene, we had reports that there were children inside. The fire was so intense that we could not make entry and had to knock the fire down before we could make entry. That’s when we found the bodies.”
The Associated Press writes that, upon arrival, responders from the Oklahoma Fire Department also found 39-year-old Brian Poletto outside the home. Poletto, boyfriend of the fire’s adult victim, suffered second and third degree burns to portions of his body. He was taken to Integris Baptist Medical Center, a local hospital, where he was listed as being in critical condition.
An article by NewsOK lists the children who fell victim to the house fire as 8-year-old Natalie Leon, 7-year-old Samantha Leon, 5-year-old Matthew Zackary Leon, and 3-year-old Kara Leon. The adult victim was identified as Jeanine Bonnet, the children’s 28-year-old mother.
A third adult, identified as David Ruppert, was renting a room in the home but was able to escape safely. Rupert told The Associated Press that he was awake in his first floor room when he became aware of the fire. Popping noises in the home caused him to open a door into the home’s inner area:
“All I was saw was smoke. My eyes were immediately burning. The kids didn’t have a chance. If I hadn’t been up (awake) already, I’d have been dead too.”
Although no foul play is currently suspected, officials have not released an official statement regarding what caused the tragic fire.
Along with the five people killed in the house fire were three of the family’s dogs.