A young mother and her four children died as their home was engulfed in flames, in the northern part of Oklahoma City, on the second day of Christmas.
According to The Oklahoman
, 28-year-old Jeanine Bonnet lost her life in the massive fire. Her children, Natalie Leon, 8, Samantha Leon, 7, Matthew Zackary Leon, 5, and Kara Leon, 3, also perished in the fire.
The incident occurred on Wednesday, December 26, at 2816 Dorchester Drive. The children's father, Matthew Leon, of Blanchard, was not living with the family, having been divorced from Bonnet.
The pair shared custody of their kids, and Bonnet's former mother-in-law describes her as a devoted parent.
“Jeanine was a good mother. [….] She took care of her children,” Leon's mother Frankie says.
The woman's boyfriend, 39-year-old Brian Poletto, was in the house at the time. He was severely injured and is being treated at Integris Baptist Medical Center.
Neighbor Toni Wyatt noticed the smell of smoke and heard three explosions at around 6:30 a.m. When she checked in to find out what had caused the loud pops, she realized that Bonnet's residence had caught fire.
She heard Poletto ask for assistance and helped him escape the flames, after which she called 911 and brought in blankets.
“I heard a guy yelling, ‘Help! Help!’ I went over to see what was going on and helped pull the guy out of the house,” Wyatt explains.
Firefighters were unable to save the family in time. Crews found the bodies inside, along with those of three dogs.
“This was an intense fire. [...] It was pretty dangerous,” Fire Battalion Chief Randy Cornelius notes.
Preliminary examinations point to a space heater placed too close to a flammable item as the cause of the incident.