Jennifer Pierce, News 9
DEL CITY, Oklahoma -- Neighbors close to the Del City family that lost three young children in an RV fire Tuesday said the mother, Stephanie Dunham, ran back to the motor home to rescue her three children.
They said 25-year-old Dunham was inside the home when she walked out and saw the motor home in the backyard on fire. They said she tried to rescue her children out of the burning motor home, but couldn't. One-year-old Kailey, 3-year-old Krystal and Christopher, who would have turned 5 Wednesday, all died in the fire.
Dunham suffered second-degree burns to her hands, arms and feet. Dunham is in good condition and should be out of the hospital in a couple days.
"…is very tragic, something, something we definitely don't want to see," said Del City Fire Department Major Brandon Pursell.
Fire investigators said the fire may have been sparked by a space heater inside the motor home.
"Now, investigators will go through, 'Was the space heater operational? On at the time? What where the events that led up to this tragedy?" said Pursell.
Fire officials say the fire is still under investigation and need to speak with the mother to establish a timeframe.
This is only the second fatal fire in recent Del City history. A fire department spokesperson said the tragedy has been hard for firefighters and the dispatcher who took the mother's 911 call.
The father of the three children who died in the fire and the husband of the woman who suffered burns spoke to News 9 about his tragic loss.
"Y'all better tell your kids you love them every day because you never know when they're going to be gone," said Chris Dunham. "I loved my kids to death, I wish I could do anything to bring them back, but it's not going to happen. All I can do is try to get past this, this is going to be hard, we're going to make it but the only thing that gets you through it is the family, the supports you got, your church family."
Family members have set up a small memorial near the scene and are asking the public to donate to the Dunham Memorial Fund at the Oklahoma Employees Credit Union.
The Dunham's pastor is addressed the tragedy Wednesday night in his sermon he said everyone has been touched by this and wanting to know how to help the family. Following the sermon, about 100 of the family's friends and family came together for a candle light vigil.
The Dunham family is still making funeral arrangements.
Since authorities have yet to rule an exact cause of the fire, anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the Del City Fire Marshal's office at 671-2892.