Local News

Boy Released From Hospital After Harnett County Fire

Posted September 30, 2002

— One of three family members who survived a mobile home fire in Harnett County has been released from the hospital.

Miguel Luna Jr., 12, was released from the UNC Burn Center Sunday. His mother is still there listed in serious condition and his father is listed in fair condition.

They were injured when their mobile home was destroyed early Friday morning. The fire call went out around 1 a.m. near Coats. Fire crews were at the scene within 7 minutes.

A family of five lived in the mobile home, which was destroyed despite efforts by three fire departments and a rescue unit.

Neighbors said Miguel Luna banged on their doors asking for help. They rushed over, trying to douse the flames, but said it was too much to handle.

"All of us went running over to try to help get them out. The smoke was so bad we couldn't neighbor Tina Torres said.

Miguel and Maria Luna and their 12-year-old son, Miguel Jr., survived; Jessenia, 5, and Rey, 11, died.

Funerals for both children killed will be at 3 p.m. Monday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dunn.

Investigators from the Harnett County Sheriff's Office and the county fire marshal are trying to determine the cause. Investigators said they found parts of a smoke detector in the rubble, but they do not know if it was working.

Rodigo Luna, a young cousin who lives next door, helped translate for medical personnel and helped his grieving family.

"I wake up and I see my cousin and my house and 'I say what happened?' and he said 'My house is burning up.' And I went outside to the back door and I saw the house burning up and didn't put on my shoes and come outside. I only see my uncle and my cousinand I didn't know where my other two cousins were and I feel bad about them," he said.

Rodigo, and other young members of his family, are being counseled by staff at Coats Elementary School, where he and the youngest victim were classmates.

"There's a tremendous amount of community support here and there's no doubt in my mind the entire community will bond around this family in their time of need," principal Phil Ferrell said.

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