BUCYRUS, Ohio -- A nighttime fire at a mobile home without smoke alarms killed three children and injured a 14-year-old boy while their mother was at work, authorities and a neighbor said Friday.
Carolyn Gallant, who lives across the street, said another neighbor had seen smoke pouring out of the home Thursday night and called 911. She said several people from the close-knit mobile home park in north-central Ohio then tried to rouse those inside the burning home.
"They banged on the doors and everything, but they could not wake anybody up," said the 58-year-old Gallant.
The fire blackened part of the home's exterior and melted some of the siding. It started in the living room, but investigators have not determined the cause, said Shane Cartmill, a spokesman for the Ohio fire marshal's office.
The children and the teen were the only people in the home at the time of the fire, Cartmill said.
Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the children who died. The 14-year-old was in stable condition at a hospital Friday, said Cartmill, who did not provide details about the boy's injuries.
A mother and her children lived in the mobile home, and the mother was at work at a nursing home when the fire started, Gallant said. She believed the teen had been left in charge of his younger siblings.
"She (the mother) has been working really hard and a lot of hours trying to provide for those kids. And now she's lost everything," Gallant said.
Officials were awaiting positive identification of the victims and preliminary findings from autopsies being conducted Friday, the fire marshal's office said. Investigators did not find smoke alarms inside the home.
Bucyrus is about 65 miles north of Columbus.
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