Fatal Winona fire: How to help the family
POSTED: Monday, April 8, 2013 - 6:14pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 10:09am
Relatives connected with the fatal Winona house fire spoke exclusively with KETK Monday.
Nina Torres and Katherine Parker are the mother and aunt of Bryan Dear, respectively.
Dear's house caught fire around 3 a.m. Sunday in the 200 block of Kay Street.
Fire officials said a candle caused the fire, but further investigation is needed.
Dear and his wife Heather, along with eight children were inside the house at the time.
Six of the children were related.
Two friends were sleeping over that night.
The two adults and five of the children were able to make it out okay.
Heather's son's, 9-year-old Colby Watson and 6-year old Riley Hickman were killed.
Family friend 4-year-old Jax Davidson also died in the fire.
Parker says Colby died in the fire while trying to save one of his brothers.
"Colby was a sweet, sweet baby," Parker said. "He'd do anything for anybody ... And Riley was always smiling. Always ready to give you a hug."
Torres says Bryan, Heather and Bryan's son, Colten were taken to the hospital and treated for burns.
Bryan has been released.
Colten is still in ICU at the LSU burn unit.
Heather remains in critical condition at a Tyler hospital.
Torres and Parker tell KETK the children's bodies are undergoing autopsy.
When results are complete, a funeral date will be set.
Lloyd James Funeral Home in Tyler has offered to pay for the entire cost of the funeral, coffins and plots.
Torres and Parker say the funeral for all three children will be done together.
The boys will be buried next to each other at New Harmony Cemetery.
The family lost everything, including both of their cars.
There are a number of funds set up to help the family. (see below)
- First Bank of Hughes Springs
P.O. Box 570 Winona, TX 75792
"Dear Fire Victim Memorial Fund"
- Capital One Bank (any location)
"Brian Dear Donation Fund"
- First Baptist Church, Winona, TX