HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - Two elementary school children died in a mobile home fire Saturday afternoon in Catawba County.
A spokesperson for Hickory Schools says the children attended Southwest Primary School.
A brother, 7-year-old Kevin Lee McClure, and sister, 8-year-old Madison Marie McClure, died after a mobile home caught fire around 4 p.m. on 7th Avenue SW.
A family friend set up a GoFundMe page for the family.
A spokesperson for Hickory Schools says counselors will be at the school to help the kids, teachers and staff.
“We are heartbroken,” a district spokesperson said. “It is a hard time for all. Prayers for their family and loved ones.”
Fire officials say the children are ages 7 and 8.
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.”
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.