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Human Interest

Three Grandchildren of a Texas Pastor Die in House Fire

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Three children died in a house fire in Tamina, Texas early Friday morning, despite valiant efforts to save them.

Pastor Bobby Johnson Jr. and Carrie Johnson, the grandparents of the three children, were injured in the fire. The children’s uncle, Deacon Jarvis Johnson, 34, and their mother April, 36, were also injured in the blaze. April also has a 10-year-old son, Adrian Mitchell, who was hospitalized as well.

April is the mother of the four children, according to The Houston Chronicle. Their father was not at the house.

The two Johnson men appeared to have been hurt while trying to rescue Adrian from the burning house, according to Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Spencer.

The men and the boy were taken to the hospital in critical condition, with burns on their face and upper torso, the Chronicle reports. The deceased children were identified as Terrance “TJ” Mitchell, 13; Kaila Mitchell, 6; and Kyle Mitchell, 5.

“My heart immediately sunk for the family,” Traniqa White, a neighbor, told the newspaper. “I’ve known these kids since they were born. And my heart just aches for the mom.”

The fire began about 4 a.m. in the two-story home at the back of the property, according to ABC13. Body camera footage of the rescue attempts by first responders (shown above) reveals the roof collapsed sometime after officials arrived at the scene.

The Chronicle reports the three children who died were trapped on the second floor of the house. It remains unclear how long the fire had burned before firefighters arrived.

A GoFundMe campaign was to help cover funeral costs and medical care for the surviving victims.

ABC13 reported several first responders were injured as they attempted to rescue the family from the burning home. Footage shows officials attempting to break a second story window while searching for any survivors.

The community has been fighting for water and sewage service for decades. Fire officials told the newspaper there was no hydrant in the area.