EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFIRE INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY
from Eyewitness News Online
Cause of Deadly Fire Investigated, Two Adults Remain In Hospital
Reported by: Katy Brown
Videographer: Bob Frank
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Mar. 14, 2013 8:02 AM EDT
Updated: Mar. 17, 2013 10:19 PM EDT
Chloe , Calhoun County , West Virginia
A fund has been set up for the family struck by tragedy in Calhoun County, when a fire ripped through a home and claimed the lives of a grandmother and her three grandchildren.
The victims in Thursday’s fire in the small community of Chloe were identified as Ryan Jackson, 7, Patricia Jackson, 6, and Aryanna Jackson, 5. Their grandmother, Darlene Gooslin, 57, was also killed.
The children's father, Benjamin Jackson, and his brother David were also in the home. They were severely burned and are in critical condition.
Now the community is coming together to pull the family through one of their toughest times.
"This is every mother's worst nightmare," family friend Betty Gandee said.
Communities in both Clay and Calhoun counties continue to mourn the loss of a grandmother and her three grandchildren.
“My fiance said she kept seeing lights outside,” neighbor Robert Marks said. “So we looked outside and saw the fire."
Fire tore through Darlene Gooslin's home, leaving only ashes where a residence to three small children once stood.
“We come together for each other. We pray together. We cry together,” Gandee said. “Whenever one of us hurts, we all hurt and we try to do what we can."
And to help the family, Gandee and her church community started a fund in the Jackson family's name. All donations will go to help with the children's funerals.
"That's the last thing this family needs to think about, is how to raise money or how to get funds to have a proper burial,” Gandee said.
The Jackson family fund is being set up through Clay County Bank. There will also be a benefit hot dog sale March 22 at the Clay Lion's Club starting at 11 a.m.
As the communities continued to cope, grief counselors were on hand at the children's elementary school.
At Big Otter Elementary, classmates and teachers of the children who died were able to talk with counselors about their feelings and dealing with such a devastating loss.
The school's website stated, "Our hearts are broken because of the loss of three of our students."
Fire marshals were back on the scene at the Chloe home Friday. They are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.
Fire marshals were back on the scene Friday, at the site of a tragic fire in Calhoun County that killed one adult and three small children.
The Chloe home burned to the ground early Thursday morning. Investigators said a cause has yet to be determined.
57-year-old Darlene Gooslin and her grandchildren, Ryan Jackson, 7, Patricia Jackson, 6, and Aryanne Jackson, 5, all died in the fire.
Grief counselors were on hand Friday at the children's school, Big Otter Elementary, to speak with classmates and teachers dealing with the fresh pain of an enormous loss.
The children's father, Benjamin Jackson, and their uncle, David Jackson, remain in critical condition in a Huntington hospital.
As the smoke cleared on a fatal fire in Calhoun County, a family and community were left to mourn four lives taken tragically.
“Oh, it's an awful thing,” said family friend Vera Longfellow, who works down the street from the home at the Stinson Grocery Store. “It's been a very sad morning.”
It was a tragic morning as flames ripped through a home on Mud Fork Road, ending in an unspeakable loss.
“We removed four victims, three children and one adult, from the fire scene,” said Assistant State Fire Marshal Mark Lambert.
One of the victims was a 57-year-old grandmother, Darlene Gooslin, who a neighbor described as loving and loyal.
Friends said Gooslin took on the responsibility of raising her three grandchildren - five-year-old Aryanne Jackson, six-year-old Patricia Jackson and seven-year-old Ryan Jackson, who were also killed in the fire.
Longfellow saw the family every day, and said they were more than customers to her, they were her friends.
"They were real sweet," Longfellow said of the children. "They were well-minded, and very smart for their age. It's been a very sad morning."
Two adults, who neighbors identified as the children's father, Benjamin Jackson, and his brother David Jackson, were also burned. Both were taken to the hospital. One of the men had burns covering 45 percent of his body.
"At this time, we don't have a determination on the cause of the fire," Lambert said.
Although the cause is unknown, investigators said one vital piece of equipment that could have saved four lives was missing from the home.
"There didn't appear to be any smoke detectors in the structure,” Lambert said. “We've had that a lot lately, and I don't know why, because smoke detectors are cheap and they're relatively easily to install."
And now, with nothing but ashes and memories, a family and a small community is forced to move on without four people they loved.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Eyewitness News has learned the four people who died in a Calhoun County fire were a grandmother and three children.
The fire occurred at about 5 a.m. at a mobile home along Mud Fork Road in Chloe.
Investigators said the victims killed in the fire were five-year-old Aryanne Jackson, six-year-old Patricia Jackson, seven-year-old Ryan Jackson and their 57-year-old grandmother, Darlene Gooslin.
Two adult men also were injured in the blaze. Investigators said one man suffered burns to 45 percent of his body. The Associated Press reported the injured men were taken to Cabell-Huntington Hospital's burn unit. Neighbors identified the men as David Jackson and Benji Jackson, the children's father and uncle.
Investigators are trying to pinpoint how the fire started. Neighbors said there was only one door to the home. Investigators said there were no working smoke detectors inside the home.
Family friend Vera Longfellow, who works down the street from the home at the Stinson Grocery Store, said the family was well liked and they will be greatly missed.
"They were real sweet," Longfellow said. "They were well-minded, and very smart for their age. It's been a very sad morning."
Stay tuned for updates on this story.
Firefighters at the scene of a deadly fire in Calhoun County said Thursday they believe the four people who died were three kids and an adult.
Eyewitness News has a crew at the scene. Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for updates on this story.
The two people injured in a mobile home fire that claimed the lives of four people in Calhoun County were taken to a hospital in Charleston for treatment.
Fire marshals and firefighters are at the scene of the mobile home fire that was reported about 5 a.m. Thursday on Mud Fork Road in the Chloe area.
No other details were immediately available.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Four people died after a trailer fire early Thursday, West Virginia fire marshals said.
The fire was reported about 5 a.m. along Mud Fork Road in the Chloe area of Calhoun County, officials with the state Fire Marshals Office said. Eyewitness News has learned two other people who suffered burns in that fire were taken to the hospital. The victims' identities have not been released.
As of 8 a.m., the fire continued to burn, as investigators made their way to the scene.
Eyewitness News had a crew headed to the scene. Keep checking wchstv.com for updates.
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