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Tulsa family heartbroken after mother of three dies in fire

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Posted at 7:52 PM, Nov 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 20:52:24-05

TULSA -- A Tulsa family is struggling with reality after a mother of three was killed in a house fire Tuesday.

Every tear is a memory of a life lived in love. Donita Robbins wonders if the tears will fall forever. 

"I'll never get to see her again, never get to talk to her," she said. "That's my baby."

40-year-old Melissa Gilliam was killed in a raging house fire Tuesday. 

"They wasn't supposed to be in that house," Robbins said.

Gilliam's three sons were thankfully staying with grandma that night. 

"To be somewhere at the right time or wrong time, that's a scary thought because anyone could have been there," Melissa's son Brett Mitchell said.

While rushing to the scene, fire crews said they could hear explosions in the area. A neighbor captured the sound on surveillance video. 

"You kind of put it in your head like it's kind of your fault or that you could have done something to prevent it," Mitchell said.

Piles of ash and smoky furniture are all that's left. The mother of three had intentions to renovate to help her children through an already rough year.

"Our dad passed away in February too, and it took me like a month to realize he was really gone," Mitchell said.

"There's nothing harder than losing one of your children," Robbins said.

Melissa's body was unrecognizable. 

"It feels like I have a big whole ripped out of my heart," Robbins said. "It's the worst pain imaginable."

For now Donita Robbins will stare at her picture and make out every inch of her daughter's smile and the life she never wished for her Melissa.

Melissa's funeral is planned for sometime next week. 

If you'd like to help the family, click here.

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