Sheriff: Fire Kills Woman And Her 5 Children

Joann Johnston
October 19, 2017

A house fire killed five children and their mother early on Wednesday about 100 miles east northeast of Houston, Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis told KFDM TV news.

They were identified as Ashley Pickering, 31; Cristian Mattox, 11; Serenity Mattox, 7 (the only girl among the children); twins Cash and Cavence Mattox, 4, and Camden Mattox, 3.

A neighbor saw flames and called the Silsbee Fire Department just after midnight according to the Hardin County Sheriff's Office.

By that time, the apartment behind the home was engulfed in flames and there was nothing anyone could do. No identities have been released. It's [also] tough on the first responders. "It's the worst type of incident for any fireman to have to face".

The children's father, who didn't live at the home, was distraught when he arrived later, said Davis, who described the scene as "horrific".

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Officials said the injured were being shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack as their condition had worsened. Another person sustained injuries in the incident and was admitted to Rourkela Government Hospital.

An autopsy was ordered on all six victims.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. "But we're also looking at our first-responders, especially our firefighters".

Prayer vigils for Pickering and her children will take place Wednesday evening at Silsbee High School at 6:30 p.m.as well as at Cathedral in the Pines Church in Beaumont at 6:30 p.m.

Silsbee is about 20 minutes north of Beaumont.

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