HICKORY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Two children were killed in a mobile home fire Saturday afternoon, the Hickory Fire Department says.
Officials responded to the fire at the home on 7th Avenue southwest shortly before 4 p.m. where they found a 7 and an 8-year-old deceased.
The children were unsupervised while the mother was at work and the father of one of the kids was running an errand down the street. He returned after the fire began.
“It’s been many years since we had a fatality in our area and we’ve been fortunate to have that,” a Hickory police officer said. “I’d like to take the opportunity to make sure you’ve got working smoke alarms in your homes and take time to see if they’re actually working. Also, have an escape plan for your family.”
The children have not been identified but were students at Southwest Primary School in Hickory.
The school released a statement on Facebook and said counseling support will be available for students beginning on Monday.
“It was clear that they were very special children, extremely bright, capable and personable,” the school wrote. “They were good friends to many of our students. They always had a smile on their face and were ready to laugh. Those of us who knew them are going to miss them dearly.”
Neighbors told Fox 46 that they attempted to save the children but the doors wouldn’t unlock and dogs on the property wouldn’t allow them to get inside.
The cause of the fire was determined to be unintentional and a vigil is planned for Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Ivey Weaver Park in Hickory.