House Fire Kills 5; Space Heater To Blame For Blaze That Took Mother And 4 Kids

By iScienceTimes Staff on December 27, 2012 12:39 PM EST

Fire
A house fire killed five people in Oklahoma City on Wednesday morning. (Photo: Reuters)

A house fire killed five in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, leaving a mother and her four children dead in a blaze that was started by a space heater. The house fire killed 5 in a two-story, wood frame house at around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. The victims of the house fire have been identified as Jeanine Bonnet, 28, Natalie Leon, 8, Samantha Leon, 7, Matthew Zackary Leon, 5, and Kara Leon, 3. Brian Poletto, Jeanine Bonnet's boyfriend, was severely burned in the blaze and is in critical condition at Integris Baptist Medical Center. The house fire killed five, as well as the family's three dogs.

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"When we got on scene, we had reports that there were children inside," fire department Maj. Tammy McKinney said, according to the Associated Press. "The fire was so intense that we could not make entry and had to knock the fire down before we could make entry. That's when we found the bodies."

Oklahoma City Police Sergeant Gary Knight told the AP that the fire is not being investigated because it did not appear suspicious. He called the fire a tragedy, especially given its proximity to the holidays.

"It's never a good time, but the day after Christmas, it's horrible" Knight said.

David Ruppert lived in a rented room on the first floor of the two-story home and managed to escape the house fire, but just barely.

"All I saw was smoke. My eyes were immediately burning. The kids didn't have a chance," Ruppert told the AP. "If I hadn't been up already, I'd have been dead too."

Ruppert told the AP that the children normally stayed with their father during the week, but were visiting their mother for Christmas. His family placed no blame on Jeanine grandmother Frankie Leon told NewsOK.

"Jeanine was a good mother," she said. "She took care of her children."

In addition to the space heater, fire department officials are also citing a lack of working smoke detectors as a factor in the house fire that killed five. 

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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