HOUMA — Three children died in an early Christmas morning mobile home fire that left their father with serious burns.
The children, ages 11, 12 and 13, died in the fire at 120 Whispering Oaks Drive, according to a news release from the state Fire Marshal’s Office.
The children’s father rescued one child, who survived, but the father was unable to get the other three.
“The fire was so quick, he just couldn’t get to them,” Houma Fire Inspector Mike Millet said.
Nine additional occupants — including visitors from Alabama — were barely able to escape from the two-bedroom home, the news release says.
The fire was called in by neighbors about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday and the home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
Investigators haven’t determined the fire’s cause, but determined it began in the living room/kitchen area of the single-wide mobile home where four of the children had been sleeping, the release says. Possible causes include space heaters and candles that were reported in use throughout the home.
The parents of the deceased children were sleeping in an adjoining bedroom and told investigators they were alerted to the fire by smoke entering the room through the undercut in their bedroom door, the release says. There were no working smoke alarms in the home at the time of the fire.
Other family members who were sleeping in a bedroom on the opposite end of the home were able to escape through a back door.
The father was taken to a local hospital and then to the burn unit at Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City with serious burns on his arms. The mother and five children were also taken to hospitals for treatment of mild to moderate injuries, the release says.
The fire also destroyed two cars and a shed, and a neighboring mobile home sustained heat damage.
Investigators, including those from the Houma Police Department, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, Houma Fire Department and Coteau Fire Department, are still examining the scene and conducting interviews.