LEBANON - Five children are dead and a woman is injured after a mobile home fire Wednesday. The fire happened in the 1100 block of Ivey Lane.
Firefighters responded to the fire around 9 a.m. and found the children trapped inside the home. The injured woman was airlifted to a hospital in Springfield.
Multiple fire departments were battling the fire, and are expected to investigate the cause.
Neighbor Chase Schrecengost told KOMU 8 he was playing video games inside when he heard a loud pop. He said multiple fire engines arrived quickly, but some the children had already died.
“I looked outside my window and the glass had broken on the trailer and there were three people around it screaming and yelling,” Schrecengost said.
He said the flames erupted once he got outside.
“It kind of looked like a movie,” Schrecengost said.
Schrecengost said the father was not home when the fire broke out, but arrived before the flames were extinguished.
“Whenever I heard the father start yelling and I heard ‘my kids are dead’ it kind hit a little hard, thinking I saw a father who was breaking down because his kids were dead. All of them,” Schrecengost said.
He said even the firefighters had a hard time coping with the tragic scene.
"It looked like he was starting to cry. It looked like it hit him pretty hard not being able to get those kids out," he said.
Carol Smith, who lives down the street from the mobile home, said she attended school with the injured woman. She told KOMU 8 three of the five children were nieces and nephews to the woman, and the other two were her biological children.
According to Smith, the mother-in-law’s facebook page states that the woman is being kept sedated at the Springfield hospital with second and third degree burns over 15 percent of her body.
Schrecengost’s mother, Cynthia Miller, said the young family was friendly and often played with their children outside.
“It looked like they were good with their kids. The little kids, they would come up and pet the puppies,” Miller said.
Community members and neighbors set up a memorial to the five children who lost their lives. Five pinwheels stood in front of the home with flowers, stuffed animals and notes piling around it.
Local stores put up signs and donation jars for the young family.