PRATT, Kan. (KSNW) – The community of Pratt is in mourning after learning four young children have died in a house fire. The mother of the children is in the hospital and in critical condition.
Emergency crews first responded to the home at Austin and 2nd around 9:00 a.m. The fire department and police arrived and found the home engulfed in flames. Authorities worked to get the fire under control and they were on the scene into the afternoon.
Crews were able to get five people out of the home, the mother and her four children. Only the mother survived.
“The total of five persons were recovered from the structure and transported to area hospitals,” said Detective Jeff Ward, Pratt Police Department. “Four of those recovered, who happen to be children, have all since succumb to their injuries.”
The cause of the fire is unknown. The Kansas State Fire Marshal is leading the investigation. Authorities said they are just starting the investigation and they do not have a time frame yet for when they will be able to release more details.
The Pratt Tribune reported that nine people lived at the home.
Friends and neighbors tell us most of the family is at the hospital in Wichita tonight after the mother was airlifted there this morning.
A family friend remembered the children fondly this morning. She told KSN the oldest is Reece, who is five years old. Timmy is two years old, River is one year old and Harley is three months old.
It is heartbreaking news for those who live in the community. One woman who knew the family and said the mother was dedicated to her children and always did anything for her kids.
Those in the neighborhood are still in shock tonight trying to piece together what happened and just how such a tragedy could hit this family.
A Gofundme account has been set up to help pay for funeral costs and hospital bills. You can find the page here.