WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An early-morning fire killed three children and left the rest of family of ten homeless.
“I don’t know what else to say other than wow,” family friend Bobbie Tucker said.
For those who know the Pittman family, the fire that destroyed their home and took the lives of three children was nothing less than a tragedy.
“It hurts your heart to see things like this happen” friend Glenn Taylor said.
Five other children and their mother made it out. The fire at the home on on US 17 in Jacksonville near Old Maplehurst Road started around 5 a.m.
“When we first arrived on the scene, the fire had the complete bottom of the house,” Taylor said. “Fire was coming out of the windows, doors, everywhere.”
Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown says two of the older children had jumped out of a second-story window to escape the fire. The three that didn’t make it out were asleep in a downstairs living room.
“I understand that the fire took the family completely by surprise,” Brown said.
Investigators say 7-year-old Gabriel, 9-year-old Elijah and 12-year-old Tabitha died.
“It’s a bad thing when anyone loses their life from fire, but when it’s a small child who loses their life, it really hurts. It hurts everybody,” Taylor said.
Investigators say three of the children and their mother are at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. One was treated and released. Another sibling is at the burn unit in Chapel Hill.
The father was at work in Jacksonville when the fire started. A family friend told us the family’s old home in Richlands burned down a few years ago.
No word what started this fire.