Local News

Overnight Cumberland Fire Claims Lives Of Mother, Two Children

Posted January 31, 2006

— A mother and her two children are dead after a mobile home fire in Cumberland County.

Authorities say the fire occurred at the Riverside Mobile Home Park in Spring Lake.

When fire crews arrived on the scene, they said the flames was so intense that it was hard for them to enter the home.

Robert Deitz, who lives nearby, said Oliver Leach, the father of the children, was able to get out of the house, but he was unable to return to save his family.

"I came out and I saw flames out my window. I went around the back to the other side of the trailer and I saw Oliver. He had been pulled out of the trailer by a friend of his," Deitz said. "He was laying on the ground, crying and distraught, saying that there was a baby in the house. I tried to make my way in the back door and only got a couple of feet in because the smoke was so bad."

When firefighters were able to enter the home, they found the bodies of 22-year-old Honesty Leach and her two children -- 3-year-old Treaquon Leach and 5-month-old Xavier Leech -- inside their bedrooms.

Fire officials believe the fire started at one end of the mobile home, possibly in either the kitchen or living room area, but they have not yet determined a cause.

The Cumberland County arson team is assisting in the investigation, which is standard procedure whenever there is a deadly fire.

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