Fort Worth, TX House Fire, Mar 1984


Fort Worth, Texas (AP) -- Three children left unattended while their mother worked a night shift at a nursing home were killed Friday when fire swept through their home, authorities said.
The children, all of whom apparently were overcome by smoke, were identified:
JULES E. PAYNE, aged 8.
DAN PAYNE, aged 4.
CHAUNCY PAYNE, aged 15 months.
DAN was taken to Cook Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. The two other children were taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival.
The fire was discovered shortly before 7 a.m. by a neighbor, who was leaving his house for work.
Their mother, WANDA, arrived at the fire-gutted house in tears about 7:30 a.m., shortly after the three children were taken from a front bedroom where firefighters found them.
Paramedics were still attempting to revive the children when their mother arrived home and learned of the fire.
MS. PAYNE said her brother, who has been staying at her home, usually looks after the children while she works as a licensed vocational nurse at the nursing home. He left the house earlier than normal this morning for his job, she said.
The brother, STEPHEN ROBERTS, said that when he left the house, between 6:15 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., only a cloths dryer was operating and there was no sign of a problem.
"The kids were all asleep when I left," he said, fighting back tears.
Deputy Fire Chief Don Peacock said the exact cause of the fire was still undetermined, but that it appeared to have started near the front of the house.

Galveston Daily News Texas 1984-03-03