After their mobile home burned last year, the best Michael Reeves and Chassity Carter could do was to park a camper trailer on the same lot in coastal Georgia and make it their new home. Now hardship has become sheer tragedy for Reeves and Carter. Less than a year after their mobile home burned, another fire Wednesday ravaged the camper the family had been living in, killing two of their children—3-year-old Blayden Wade Reeves and his 4-month-old sister, Tallie Ann Carter, the AP reports. Chassity Carter and 2-year-old Brighton Michael Reeves were hospitalized in critical condition. After searching the camper's charred remains Thursday, investigators determined the deadly blaze likely stated as an accidental cooking fire.
"There was a pot of noodles left on a hot plate on a countertop that was the cause of the fire," Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering told reporters at a news conference. Police were initially suspicious because of last year's mobile home fire, but he said there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the fire at the camper. "It was a travel trailer, which is unusual for a family to be living in," Doering said. "It's not designed for that, especially for a family of five." Neighbors knew the young couple had a hard time making ends meet, said Danny O'Neal, who lives around the corner. "They have been struggling and struggling," O'Neal said Thursday from his front porch just outside the port city of Brunswick, about 70 miles south of Savannah. He could hardly talk about the day before, when he ran outside to the sound of his neighbors screaming for their children.