March 10, 2011 - An early morning fire at a mobile home between Trenton and Whitewright claimed the lives of two young children Sunday. Four others - all family - were transported to area hospitals and, as of Monday, one remained in critical condition.
A press release by the Fannin County Sheriff's Office shows that a 911 call came into dispatch at 12:30 a.m. on March 6, reporting a structure fire at 11614 U.S. Highway 69 in Whitewright (though the home is closer to Trenton). Many emergency personnel from several agencies responded to the scene - including Leonard Police Department officer Darryl Calhoun.
Calhoun's report shows that upon arrival he observed Trenton officer Greg Morris jumping a gate in front of the property and running towards the structure, which was engulfed in flames from the middle to south end of the trailer. The officers encountered two emotionally distraught adults who were yelling that two of their children were still in the home. Officers Calhoun and Morris attempted to gain entry to the home through a window on the north end, but it was too high and thick black smoke was escaping through the opening that prohibited them from seeing or getting in. The officers somberly determined that it was too dangerous and practically impossible to enter the home at that point.
Once the fire was extinguished, the bodies of 17-month-old Kendra Glynne Gregory and four-year-old Claira Dawn Gregory were recovered and pronounced dead by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Alan Hale. Hale further ordered autopsies to be performed on the children. The girl's father, mother and sibling were taken by air ambulance to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation. An 11-year-old cousin who was also staying at the home that night was transported to Texas Health Presbyterian-WNJ Hospital in Sherman, but later released. All three members of the Gregory family remained hospitalized Monday afternoon, with the child still in the intensive care unit.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Reports are that the family had recently moved into the home.
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