Community Mourns Loss of Two Children in Fire

HINTON, W.Va. (WOAY) – A fire over the weekend trapped and killed two children. The boy was around 14 years old and the girl was just finishing the second grade.

“The teachers [at the middle school] called him Smiley because he had such a beautiful smile and it was contagious and you couldn’t help but he happy when you were around him,” said Hinton Area Elementary school principal Angela Gumm. “She was quieter than her siblings. [She was a] beautiful, beautiful little girl as well and a sweet soul.” 

The fire was called in around 10 a.m. on Saturday. Firefighters arrived at the scene to see an already devastating loss. 

“It was fully involved,” said assistant fire chief Steve Pack. “It really got ahead of us. I don’t know how that happened, but it was moving fast and there was smoke and flames everywhere.”

The entire community surrounding the family is mourning the children’s deaths. Counselors and teachers at the schools are battling their emotions while helping classmates cope with their own.

“Through this terrible tragedy their two children is something that I absolutely cannot be measured so just letting the family know that they are not alone the community Moran’s with them and any day any given time we could be put in that situation and we have to bring each other up”

Out of respect for the family, WOAY will not release the names of the children lost in the fire. If you would like to help the grieving family by making a donation, you can contact R.E.A.C.H.H. at (304) 466-2226.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at