In a heroic act to save his paralyzed father from a house fire Thomas JayVance Cummins, 13, succumbed to the smoke and died alongside his dad, 60yr-old James Cummins.
According to Oklahoma’s Love County Sheriff Marty Grisham, the fire began Wednesday around 1:00am in their mobile home on Renick Road in Marietta.
The son, along with his sister, 16, were both sleeping in the living room when the girl was awakened by a fire in the room, the Sun Herald reports.
The sister ran out of the house to get help from a neighbor, and the brother attempted to get his paralyzed dad into his wheelchair. During this time they were both overcome by smoke.
Firefighters were able to put the fire out, but for the two Cummins men, it was too late.
‘Upon arrival the deputies found the house engulfed in flames,’ Grisham said. ‘(They) attempted to enter the house, couldn’t make it through the front due to the fire and couldn’t make it to the back also due to fire and debris.’
The sheriff also revealed that the father had become paralyzed in an accident which occurred several years ago.
At the time of the fire the mother was at the store, according to KXII.
‘This family is just sleeping and the son is doing what he can to protect and save his dad,’ Grisham said. ‘It’s a very sad story.’
Authorities are still looking into the official cause of the fire, but multiple space heaters were in the mobile home and being used to keep the residence warm. Police have reason to believe these devices contributed to the fire.
‘The blaze appeared to have originated in the living room area, however due to the amount of damage, I was unable to determine whether the cause was electrical or the space heaters,’ Oklahoma Fire Marshall investigator Judah Shepard told the Daily Ardmorette. ‘The on-scene investigation ruled the fire was accidental.’
“A GoFundMe account has been set up seeking $10,000 to help the family with funeral expenses and living arrangements,” reports the Daily Mail. “Police said the mother and daughter are currently staying with relatives.”