Family Struggles Through Pain of Deadly Fire

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Tammy Salas is waiting for her daughter to emerge from a medically-induced coma while trying to cope with the loss of her grandchildren.

On Wednesday, fire swept through a mobile home taking the lives of three-year-old Gabriel Rodriguez and his brother, three-month-old Brandon Rodriquez. Their mother, Champaine Harn, is hospitalized in critical condition.

Champaine's third child, her daughter Adrianna, has been released from the hospital and is now with her father and grandmother.

The family is shaken and in pain as a memorial continues to grow beside the charred shell of the mobile home, a reflection of community support.

Tammy Salas says she was in Iowa on Wednesday when she got the phone call she will never forget. There was fire, her daughter barely escaped and her two grandsons did not.


Tammy Salas

“My daughter was on the phone and she’s like, I couldn’t make out what she was saying because she was very hysterical,” Tammy said.

She now waits for Champaine’s recovery to progress.

Tammy said, “She don’t talk. She don’t move her eyes. She, you don’t see her eyelids move. It’s, she’s like… but they said that yes, we can talk to her. So I do. I talk to her and I rub her head and I hold her hand and I tell her things, what’s going on, what we’re doing, how Adrianna’s doing, you know. I tell her I love her and I’m sorry.”

Neighbor Alicia Morford told us, “It's just terrible. It makes me thankful that I still have my family because living in this type of home, something like this could happen to anybody. It could have been us."

Morford's three-year-old played in the pool with Champaine's children this past summer. Now, she wants to give three bags of clothes to Adrianna.

“This isn't anything anybody should have to go through," she said.

It's support that means the world to Tammy, especially during the Christmas season.

“Without the support, I don't know what we would do," she said.

While the cause of the fire has not been announced, we do know that the home was heated with space heaters. There was no furnace.

Looking into the history of the home, we found that it was purchased for $500 dollars and was built prior to 1974. The only time that a mobile home needs to be inspected is when it’s built and that rule was not made until 1976. In the entire park, we know that at least four other homes were built before 1976 as well.


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