Five people killed in early morning house fire identified
OKLAHOMA CITY — A mother and four children all lost their lives in an early morning day after Christmas house fire in the metro.
Jeanine Bonnet, 28, her three children, Natalie Leon, 8, Samantha Leon, 7 and Matthew Leon, 5, and Bonnet’s ex-husband’s daughter, Kara Leon, 3, all died in that fire.
Firefighters were called to the home in the 2800 block of Dorchester Drive, near Wilshire and May, around 6:30 Wednesday morning.
Officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home, so the fire had a good head start.
By the time they arrived, flames were coming out of every door and window on both the first and second floors of the home.
“It was pretty dangerous at first. Knowing somebody’s in the structure, the guys put out the extra effort to try and save a life,” said Battalion Chief, Randy Cornelius, with the Oklahoma City fire department.
Bonnet’s boyfriend, Brian Poletto, jumped from the second story of the house and was transported to the hospital badly burned.
Another man staying with the family kicked out a first story window to escape the flames and suffered only minor injuries.
Mark Wallace, the maintenance man at the apartment complex next door, ran over to help Poletto after he jumped from the home.
“There was a couple of us over there to help the guy out from near the house over to the breezeway over here and he was badly burned and all he could say was there’s other people in the house, there’s other people in the house,” said Wallace.
Don Povilonis, a family friend, said the whole family had been at the house yesterday celebrating Christmas and the kids stayed over.
“Matthew Leon, the father of the four kids was had left his kids over here at the house with his ex-wife for Christmas and they were all upstairs and they didn’t make it out,” said Povilonis. “They were really good little kids. I mean really nice little kids. I mean they were all really great, real happy. And I just worry about Matt because he just lost everything in his world. And I just have to remind him he still has his wife.”
A fund has been set up for the burial of those four little kids. You can make a donation at any Bank of Oklahoma branch under the Matthew Leon Children’s Memorial Fund.