A mom and her six children have died in a devastating fire that ravaged their home in Mississippi.
The children’s badly injured father managed to escape from the blaze in Clinton, which broke out early Saturday morning, after he tried in vain to rescue his children and their mom, The Clarion Ledger reported.
The Hinds County Coroner identified the victims as Brittany Presley, 33, and her children Landon, 15; Lane, 13; Lawson, 12; Grayson, six; Malcom, four; and Felicity, one.
The father of the family, who has not yet been named, was taken to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, burns, cuts and bruises.
‘He was worried and concerned. He did not want to leave the scene. He was very concerned about his family,’ said City of Clinton spokesman Mark Jones.
WJTV have reported that Mrs Presley was a second-grade teacher at the Reuben B. Myers Canton School of Arts and Sciences in the local area. Her son, Malcom, was a Pre-K student at the school.
The cause of fire is not yet known, but foul play is not suspected.
Facebook photos show the Presley clan appeared incredibly close to one another, often taking picnics and bike trips together.
Photographs taken just last year show Brittany Presley in the hospital after giving birth to her daughter, Felicity.
Meanwhile, heartbreaking images captured in the aftermath of the blaze and show children’s clothing among ashes and charred remains.
As news spread through the small community of Clinton on Saturday morning, tributes poured in for the tight-knit family.
Family member Erica Mitchell Nero wrote on Facebook: ‘My family will never be the same without them all this is soo much to take in right now. I lost my only sister and all my nephews and only niece’.
A neighbor paid tribute to the family as he told WLBT3 they were ‘really good folks’ whose deaths have left the whole neighborhood distraught.
‘I’ve known these kids ever since they moved into this neighborhood and they were really good folks,’ he said.
‘The kids were really nice and the whole neighborhood is distraught. It’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking,’
The Clinton Public Schools District released a statement saying services would be available for all students and teachers affected by the deaths.
‘Clinton is a close-knit community and this loss is devastating for our entire school family. As students and employees return on Monday, counseling services will be available at each campus for anyone who needs support.
‘We will also work with community partners to share information on events and activities to support the family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this time of loss’.
The fire broke out at about 12.30am on Saturday morning on Old Vicksburg Road and Hobby Farm Road, Jeff Blackledge, the Clinton fire chief said.
The State Fire Marshall has been called in to lead the investigation. The cause of the fire is not thought to be known but foul play is not suspected, WLBT3 reported. The home’s age, which was built in 1951, may have been a factor.
Firefighters with four fire engines and a ladder truck battled for about 45 minutes to control the blaze.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Andrew Court and Hannah Skellern