Watch CBS News

Mother And 3 Young Children Die In East Texas House Fire

WINONA, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) - A woman in Texas and her three children are all dead after they were unable to get out of and firefighter were unable to get into a house that had gone up in flames.

The fire happened around the lunch hour on January 11 in the town of Winona, in Smith County.

A man, later identified as 31-year-old Edwin Harris, was able to get out of the house, but the woman and children were all trapped inside. Harris was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.

deadly Winona house fire
(credit: CNN)

When firefighters arrived they went to the front and back of the house to try and get inside, but the heat was too intense.

"The fire was fully involved," explained Smith County Precinct 4 Constable Josh Joplin. "The heat was just so much that without fire gear, without bunker gear, there's just no way to get that close without putting yourself at complete risk."

The female victim, believed to be 24-years-old, has been identified but the names of the children -- ages 1, 2 and 5 -- have not been released pending notification of relatives.

It took several hours to put the fire out. Crews from Winona, Chapel Hill, Lindale, Red Springs, Jackson Heights, and Smith County helped fight the blaze. Investigators are still working to find the exact cause of the fire.

Winona, Texas is about 100 miles east of Dallas, near Tyler.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The CNN Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)



View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.