CHLOE -- A 57-year-old grandmother and three grandchildren died in a mobile home fire early Thursday in Calhoun County.
The victims were identified Friday as 57-year-old Darlene Gooslin, 7-year-old Ryan Jackson, 6-year-old Patricia Jackson and 5-year-old Aryanne Jackson.
Big Otter Elementary School Principal Anthony Boggs said the victims were among his students. The youngest attended preschool at the Clay County school. Grief counselors were on hand there Friday.
Two men, identified on the scene as the father and the uncle of the three children, suffered burns and were taken to the burn unit at Cabell-Huntington Hospital. One man was burned on 45 percent of his body.
The fire was reported around 5 a.m. on Mud Fork Road in the Chloe area. The home was engulfed in flames when the first responder arrived.
"I only live a mile down the road, and my dad and I went to help," Kim Berly said.
Berly, a firefighter with the Upper West Fork Volunteer Fire Department, worked to extinguish the fire. When other firefighters arrived, she assisted the men who had been burned.
"We're a tight-knit community. They were quiet and off by themselves but would always stop to talk to my children," Berly said. "It really is a tragic loss."
"When I heard this morning, I could have cried," said Rhonda Tanner, who keeps cows in a pasture near the family's home.
Tanner said she saw the children often and described them as "absolutely adorable ... very pretty little kids.
"They were cute as buttons. They'd holler out, 'What you doing over there?' " Tanner said. "They didn't have much room to play, but they seemed happy."
Tanner said the grandmother stayed at home to care for the children full time. About a year ago, a camper parked next to the home also was destroyed in a fire, said Tanner, whose daughter is a local volunteer firefighter.