Oklahoma community mourns after fire claims the lives of six people, including 3 young children

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WOODWARD, Okla. (KFOR) – Tragedy struck the Woodward community when an overnight mobile home fire claimed the lives of six people, including three children.

But amid the despair, community members are thankful that a firefighter and a local resident were able to rescue a young child from the deadly blaze.

Relatives identified the three adult victims as Joel Cox, his girlfriend Shanda and her brother, Kelsey Noreuil. The three children were identified as five-year-old Ava, eight-year-old Cora and 12-year-old Cyrus. Nine-year-old Jaxton is the only person inside the home who survived. Cox’s youngest daughter, Blaire, was at her mother’s home when the fire occurred.

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Joel Cox and his girlfriend Shanda in the back center, Jaxton on the left, Cyrus on the right, Cora and Ava in the center. All members of the family, except Jaxton and the little girl in the front, died in the fire. Jaxton was rescued by a firefighter and a neighbor. Blaire, the little girl in front, was at her mother’s home.
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Kelsey Noreuil, Shanda’s brother, also died in the fire.

“We need a lot of healing,” Woodward Fire Chief Todd Finley said. “Pray for the family, pray for the firefighters.”

The fire ignited early Wednesday. A community member called the Woodward Fire Department at around 1:15 a.m. and reported that a single-wide mobile home was ablaze in the 1100 block of Kansas Avenue.

A Woodward Fire Department captain was the first firefighter at the scene.

Finley tells KFOR when firefighters arrived, the only call for help was coming from a nine-year-old boy inside.

The fire captain and a nearby resident used a lawnmower to knock out a window air conditioning unit, creating an escape path for anyone inside to escape. Nine-year-old Jaxton jumped out.

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The remains of a Woodward mobile home fire that killed three children and three adults.

Other firefighters arrived on scene and went into the burning mobile home through the open window and searched for other survivors. They opened the door from the room where the child was rescued and were hit by heat so intense their face masks began to melt.

Firefighters then switched to battling the blaze from outside and quickly contained the fire.

Crews searched the mobile home and found the six members of the family deceased.

Firefighters who battled against excruciating heat to save the family are devastated by the six deaths.

“It was a tough call,” Finley said. “They are emotionally upset about that.”

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A mobile home in Woodward that was destroyed by fire. Three children and three adults died in the fire.

The State Fire Marshal to determine the cause of the of the deadly fire.

A nearby structure sustained exterior damage, but crews were able to stop the blaze from spreading any further.

Community members held a vigil at Living Word Fellowship in memory of the victims on Wednesday evening.

Nathan Twyman, the president of the Minister Alliance for Woodward, says the family is immersed in the faith community. Twyman tells KFOR the grandfather of the children killed is a pastor at a local church. 

“They are very involved is the best way I could put it,” Twyman said. “A lot of people know who they are, and it’s because they have poured out their lives in the Lord and this community.”

Nine-year-old Jaxton, the only survivor of the fire, is recovering Wednesday evening at an Oklahoma City hospital. His family tells KFOR he could be released as early as tomorrow. 

Living Word has set up a Joel Cox Memorial Fund, Blaire Cox Memorial Fund and Jaxton Forsythe Memorial Fund. Go to www.lwfchurch.com/memorial-funds to donate.

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