By WBTV Web Staff | February 22, 2021 at 5:19 PM EST – Updated February 22 at 11:00 PM
HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) – A Hickory community is grieving after two young children died in a mobile home fire this past weekend in Catawba County.
The community celebrated the lives of siblings – 8-year-old Madison Marie McClure and 7-year-old Kevin Lee McClure, who died Saturday afternoon.
A vigil for the children was held Monday at West Hickory Park in Hickory.
The mother said everyone was welcome to attend to pay tribute to the children who attended Southwest Primary School in Hickory.
The mobile home caught fire around 4 p.m. Saturday on 7th Avenue SW.
A spokesperson for Hickory Schools said counselors were going to be at the school on Monday for children, teachers and staff.
“We are heartbroken,” a district spokesperson said. “It is a hard time for all. Prayers for their family and loved ones.”
Hickory Fire Dept. is on scene now investigating a fire that killed two children at this mobile home this afternoon. The PIO says the children were ages 7 and 8 – one boy and one girl, but it is not clear which child was which age. Will update once we are made aware. @WBTV_News pic.twitter.com/ZtqAV3gFF4
— Courtney Cole WBTV (@imcourtneyjcole) February 21, 2021
Thomas Bailey, who lives in the neighborhood, said he attempted to rescue the children from the home.
“I busted out the back window and was screaming and hollering for the kids trying to figure out where they might be inside the mobile home, then I went around to the back door and I busted out the back glass and the melted plastic was melted to my hands,” Bailey said.
Officials told WBTV there were no adults at the mobile home when firefighters arrived.
“Don’t leave your children at home ever,” neighbor April Highland said. “It don’t matter if you’re running down five minutes down the street to the store. Just don’t leave them at home cause anything can happen.”
#breaking Tragedy in Hickory. Fire officials tell me two children died in a mobile home fire this afternoon. It happened on west side of town. Crews are still on the scene. No details on ages or if anyone else was injured. Investigators are looking for the cause.
— Steve Ohnesorge WBTV (@WBTVSteveO) February 20, 2021
Neighbors said the mother of the children was at work at the time of the fire, and her boyfriend arrived after the fire started.
“I said, ‘Honey, your house is on fire,’ Highland said. “She said ‘is there a black car there?’ I said no. She said ‘my kids…he’s done left my kids there.’”
The cause of the fire has been determined to be unintentional.
However, neighbors said they heard a loud explosion and saw flames and rushed over to try and get the children out of the home but were unable to get the doors open.
“We heard an explosion and that’s originally when I looked out at the neighbors and said, ‘their home is on fire,’” Bailey said.
No other information was provided.
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