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Five of Couple's 6 Kids Perish in Texas House Fire

Firefighters think blaze may have started in kitchen of Edna trailer home
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2014 12:17 PM CST
Texas Community Mourns 5 Kids Killed in House Fire
Mourners hold a vigil outside the mobile home where five children died in an early-morning fire on Nov. 25, 2014, in Edna, Texas.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Brett Coomer)

A tight Texas community grieved last night during a vigil for five children who perished in a house fire yesterday morning. Officials confirmed to ABC-13 that they found a trailer home blazing around 5am in Edna, located about 90 minutes outside of Houston, with a 32-year-old mother and 30-year-old father outside the trailer. According to USA Today, dad Johnny Hernandez Jr. managed to pull out Annabel Ortiz—her relatives say she suffered a severe cut trying to save the kids, while Hernandez wasn't injured—and their 4-year-old son, Johnny Hernandez III. But Noah Ortiz, 15; Julian Ortiz, 13; Nicholas Ortiz, 9; Arianna (spelled Ariana in some media) Hernandez, 6; and Lilianna (Liliana) Hernandez, 5, all died in the fire, devastating the town of about 5,700.

While the cause hasn't yet been determined, firefighters believe it started in the kitchen. A family friend tells KHOU that the family had "some electrical issues" several months ago "with their breaker box and stuff." Witnesses tell the station that Noah, a varsity football player, may have headed back into the flames to try to save the younger children. A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $17,000 for the family; more than 100 people attended last night's candlelight vigil to remember the victims. "Us being a small community that we are, it has just devastated everybody," one resident tells ABC-13, while another adds, "I can't imagine. To me, no parent should bury their children." (These teens cut class—and saved an elderly woman from a house fire.)

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