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UPDATE: Children killed in Winona house fire, names released

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy Winona PD Courtesy Winona PD
Dear children. Dear children.
WINONA (KYTX) -

WINONA (KYTX) - UPDATE: The names of the children killed in the Winona house fire early Sunday morning have been released to CBS 19.

Smith County Justice of the Peace Mitch Shamburger confirms that 9-year-old Colby Watson, 6-year-old Riley Hickman, and 4-year-old Jax Davidson were killed in the fire.

Shamburger says the two adults in the home, Heather and Brian Dear were both transferred to hospitals Sunday morning. Heather remains in ICU at a Tyler hospital in fair condition and is expected to be moved to a regular room Monday, according to family and close friends of the family. Brian has been released from a Shreveport hospital and was treated for burns on his hands.

The couple's son, 8-year-old Colton Dear is still at a burn unit at LSU hospital in Shreveport. He is expected to be released soon as well.

Four other children were in the home and got out safely. They stayed with a relative nearby Sunday night. Two of the children, Jack and Alaina Davidson are friends of the family.

Investigators suspect a lit candle in the home may have started the fire, but it is still under investigation.

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WINONA (KYTX) - A fire Sunday morning killed three children and left one child and two adults in the hospital.

It happened in the 200 block of Kay Street, just east of Highway 155. Fire fighters from the Winona, Red Springs, Jackson Heights, Lindale, Whitehouse and Chapel Hill Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the fire around 3 a.m. Winona Police and the Smith County Sheriff's Department were also on scene.

Winona Police Chief Bryan Richards said eight children and two adults were in the house when it caught fire. 3 of those children, all under the age of 11, were killed. An 8-year-old boy and an adult man were taken by helicopter to a burn unit in Shreveport. An adult woman is recovering in a Tyler hospital.

Four other children were unharmed. They're staying with relatives.

A neighbor who used to baby sit the children told CBS 19 the two adults who were injured were parents to three of the children, and that the others were relatives, all of whom lived in the home. She said one of the children who died was around 10 years old, and the other two were around 5 years old.

The neighbor said one of the children who survived told her the fire started after a blanket accidentally fell on top of a lit candle. She and others helped to pull some of the children from the burning home while they waited for fire fighters to arrive.

Staff at Winona Elementary School told CBS 19, where some of the children attend school, said counselors would be on hand Monday to help other children process the loss of their friends.

The Smith County Fire Marshal's office is still investigating the fire. Names of the family members hurt and killed in the fire have not been released.

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