BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Family and friends are remembering three people killed in a fire on Saturday in Broken Arrow.
The picture above shows what’s left of a home on North 29th near Kenosha that burned, killing a woman and two children as well as severely burning another young man. Family members say they want people to understand what happened early Saturday morning.
They tell me a mother, Manuela Baray, her twin teenagers, Yaretzy Talamentes and Yovanny Talamentes, and her grandson, Jaaziel Gutierrez, were in the home when it caught fire. The family explains when the fire broke out 15-year-old Yovanny Talamentes ran out of the house to tell other family members who live nearby.
His sister Karla says he then ran back into the burning home to try to save the other family members.
When the fire department arrived, they saw this, "one of the juvenile boys actually came running out the front door through the fire," said Broken Arrow Fire Department Battalion Chief Rusty Schaeffer. "He had burns, some second and third degree burns.”
Karla says her brother is being treated at a Texas burn hospital.
2 News sat down with a friend of their mother Manuela who died in the fire, she says Manuela was hard working never taking a day off.
“She was positive. It doesn’t matter how much she struggled she always had a smile on her face. Always and a lot of people that know her can tell you that,” Martha Jennings-Troy, victim's friend, said.
The family says their mother was strong and is the one who kept them together. Karla agrees telling me Manuela wanted her kids to achieve the American dream.
“She just wanted to do whatever was necessary for her kids to be happy," Jennings-Troy said. "She just made sure they had everything that they needed to be successful.”
This tragedy has also impacted the community.
Rich Collins says it’s unlike other fires he’s seen.
“I don’t know the woman. I’ve never seen them in my life but it was three children, two of them are gone,” he said.
Collins found a stuffed rabbit in his home and felt he needed to bring it here.
“I looked and it was a mother rabbit taking care of her baby," Collins said. "I just felt that was something I needed to do.”
He says if there's one thing he would ask people to do it's to "hug your children."
The family tells me they are grateful for the community support.
“She [Manuela] will always be remembered. I will always smile when I think of Manuela,” Jennings-Troy said.
Fire officials are still trying to determine what started the fire.
There is a GoFundMe for the family. So far they’ve raised over $14,000.
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