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ENGLISH, Ind. (WDRB) -- A wood stove is being blamed for a mobile home fire on East Denton Road that killed five people early today.
Crawford County Sheriff Tim Wilkerson tells WDRB that three adults and two children were killed in the fire that started shortly after midnight. The adults included two half-brothers and a girlfriend of one of the men. The children were the 8-year-old daughter of one of the brothers and the woman's three year old son.
"I mean, it's bad for one person to die in a fire, let alone a whole family," says Crawford County resident Jim Cox. He says anyone who lives in a home and burns wood should make sure to stay safe.
Family members of the victims have confirmed the names and of the five people who died in the blaze. They are:
John Joseph Denton, 32 years old
Billy Turben, 35 years old
Deanna Roger (age unavailable at this time)
Kara Denton, 8 years old
Curtis Roger, 3 years old
The fire started after midnight in the mobile home on East Denton Road in Sulphur, which is south of English. Fire officials believe it may have started in the wood stove being used to heat the mobile home.
John Denton's father who lives within sight of the trailer, told us he woke up in the middle of the night and saw the orange glow behind his house. That's when he ran to the trailer to try to rescue his family, but it was no use.
"He woke up and he saw a blaze out his window," Wilkerson said. "So he runs down there, he tries to gain access through the door, but the heat and flames were just too much for him. He injured his hand in the process."
Many first responders, including law enforcement and fire officials, either knew the family or knew of them.
"It's very sad, it'll hit the community really hard," said Larry Allen, Crawford County Emergency Management Director.
Wilkerson says this has been the hardest day of his 16-year career in law enforcement. He says initial reports indicated that five people were unaccounted for, and the hope was that the trailer was empty during the fire.
Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case.
Three fire departments responded to the scene. The Red Cross was also there, trying to provide food and comfort.