"I've been at this fire department 22 years. I've never seen a fire of this magnitude," said the local fire chief

By Benjamin VanHoose
March 04, 2021 10:06 AM
Advertisement
Joel Cox and his girlfriend Shanda in the back center, Jaxton on the left, Cyrus on the right, Cora and Ava in the center, and Kelsey Noreuil
From left: Joel Cox, girlfriend Shanda and their kids; Shanda's brother Kelsey Noreuil
| Credit: Facebook (2)

Six people died in a mobile home fire early Wednesday morning, though one young child managed to be rescued from the flames.

Firefighters saved one boy from the fire in Woodward, Oklahoma, when they heard him inside the home, according to the Associated Press. Fire Chief Todd Finley said they knocked out a window air conditioning unit with the help of a local resident on the scene to rescue the child.

Finley said, per the outlet, that the fire's heat melted firefighters' masks. He added that the state fire marshall's office is working to figure out the cause of the fire.

"The heat was so incredible, even being low to the ground, it started to blister and melt (firefighters') masks," said Finley, according to KWTV. "I've been at this fire department 22 years. I've never seen a fire of this magnitude."

According to a report from KFOR, family members identified the six victims who did not survive the fire: three adults — Joel Cox, his girlfriend, Shanda, and her brother, Kelsey Noreuil — and three children, ages 5, 8 and 12. The boy who escaped the fire is 9 years old, per the outlet, and another sibling of theirs was not at the house at the time of the deadly fire.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's office go over the site of a multi-fatality mobile home fire in Woodward, Okla., Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Credit: Dawnita Fogleman/The Woodward News via AP

"We need a lot of healing. Pray for the family, pray for the firefighters," Finley said, per KFOR.

The Woodward Ministerial Alliance posted photos of the family on Facebook Wednesday, sharing that Pastors Eric and Shellee Cox of the local Living Word Fellowship were the grandparents of the children. "We ask that you keep the daughter-in-law's family in prayer as well as they walk through this difficult time," read the post.

One person close to the family told KWTV that the victims "were loved by a lot of people."