A fire at a mobile home Tuesday morning claimed the life of a woman whose children also lost their father three months ago.
Van Zandt fire officials said the blaze in Fruitvale, just north of Canton, likely began because of a space heater that was too close to things such as clothes, drapes and furniture.
Three teenagers were asleep in the living room at the time and one of them woke up to the smell of smoke.
Twenty-year-old Breezy Harris, 16-year-old Hunter Harris and their 18-year-old friend were able to escape the flames. Then Hunter pulled his 14-year-old sister, Presley Harris, out of a window.
He also tried to save his mother, 41-year-old Wendy Harris, but the flames and smoke were just too thick. She died in the fire.
"All he could do was grab hold of his sister and pull her out. He told me he tried everything he could to get to his mother. He even went to the back door and tried to kick that door in," said Chuck Allen, the Van Zandt County fire marshal.
"Hunter's a hero. I know he doesn't feel that way now, but he's a hero. He saved his sister's life. And I know he did everything he could to save his mom too," said Donna Taylor, a cousin.
The family has had its share of difficulties. The Harris children lost their father, Brute Harris, three months ago to the day.
"They lost their dad three months ago. They're not even healed from that. Now they have to deal with the loss of their mom plus everything they own," Taylor said.
Extended family and friends worry about the wellbeing of the teenagers, but said there will be no shortage of support for them.
"It's very tragic and I think they're gonna need a lot of counseling and a lot of love," Taylor said.
Presley Harris did suffer smoke inhalation and burns on her hands. She's now recovering at Parkland Hospital.
KDFW FOX 4
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