Titus County fire ruled accidental following death of child

By SONYA ROBERTS-WOODS/Publisher

   A week ago today, local firefighters rescued a 12-year-old female child from a mobile home engulfed in flames. And now, sadly, the community is mourning her loss after she succumbed to injuries sustained in the fire.

    The Mount Pleasant Fire Department responded to a call Feb. 28 at 7:22 p.m. at 11 Private Road 3234 in the Harts Bluff community.  With assistance from the Argo, Tri-Lakes, Sugar Hill, 5-Star, Cookville, Nortex and Talco Volunteer Fire Departments, firefighters were notified, while en route, that a child was still inside the residence.

   Once on site, MPFD Captain Adam Decker and firefighters Stuart Thompson and Caleb Daniels entered the burning structure fighting fire as they made their way through the home. Located in a rear bedroom, the first responders located the child, the only occupant. After exiting the home, firefighters determined that the child was unconscious and not breathing.  Captain Craig Eudy and Firefighter Brian Fairchild began CPR and continued until Titus Regional Medical Center EMS units arrived on the scene. Firefighters remained on the scene and extinguished the mobile home fire which was heavily damaged. 

    The child was then transported to Titus Regional Medical Center. Sustaining serious injuries, the 12-year-old was later transferred to Parkland Hospital and then Children’s Hospital.  Four days later, the pre-teen died on March 4.

   The child’s death immediately prompted a joint investigation by the Titus County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshal.

   “It is standard procedure for us to investigate whenever a death is involved,” explained Titus County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Chris Bragg. “We always err on the side of caution. At this time, we have not determined the exact cause of the fire, but we are pretty certain that it was not intentionally set. It was more than likely an accidental fire possibly caused by something electrical.”

   According to Lt. Bragg, the child had not been feeling well when her mother, sister and family friend decided to attend a nearby church event.

   “This is such an unfortunate and tragic event,” Lieutenant Bragg said. “The family is not only now dealing with the loss of a child, but they are also now displaced.”