Tragedy struck Holdenville as neighbors say a woman, who turned 23-years-old today, and the four-year-old she was babysitting are believed to be dead after an early morning fire.
There isn’t much left of the home on South Hinkley Street in Holdenville, just a burned-out shell. Neighbors tell us Therese Watkins, a single mother of three, was watching the little girl for the girl's father, Paul Linley. Linley, we are told, was burned trying to rescue the two, then ran to a friend's home for help.
Neighbor Willy Sanford said, around four or 4:30 this morning, "Paul came up here and said his house was on fire and the babysitter and baby were still in there."
Another neighbor says he heard Watkins screaming for help and kicked in the back door but was driven back by the flames. He says police told him not to talk with us on camera, but he remembers hearing the screams die down as he tried to get inside.
Neighbors say Linley was having electrical problems at the home and was working on fixing the issues himself. He's a single dad and, we are told, didn't have much money. An account has been set up to help both families at the First National Bank and Trust, 821 East Highway, in Holdenville.
"(It) (b)reaks my heart,” Sanford said. “I know that family's not going to have anything."