Mother, son killed in house fire

January 15, 2009 4:57:32 PM PST
A mother was killed while trying to save one of her sons from a house fire. Her son also died.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The fire started around 3:30am on Los Angeles near Rand. Family members tell Eyewitness News Evelyn Motten and another son made it out of the house, but 15-year-old Jeremiah was still inside.

Evelyn's 17-year-old son woke up to the smell of smoke. He yelled to his mother and the two made it out. But Jeremiah was nowhere to be found. That's when the 54-year-old mother went back into the fire. It was the last time she would be seen alive.

"My mom was the neighborhood mom," said Evelyn's 17-year-old son, who escaped the fire.

Family members and friends say they aren't surprised that she ran back into her burning home to save one of her seven children.

"Jerrico was going back to the house and he came back out and said it was too hot," said the victim's sister, Rosetta Ligon. "So she went up, trying to save her baby son."

"He said the last he heard was her screaming," said Ligon.

By the time fire crews arrived, the second floor of the wood frame house had already started to collapse and there was little they could do to save the mother and son.

"We immediately went defensive because it wasn't safe enough because of the amount of fire and the stability of the fire to get firefighters to search," said Asst. Chief Jack Williams with the Houston Fire Department.

Evelyn's son, Emmit, can't image what may have started the fire.

"I don't know, I mean I couldn't tell you but...God's plan," he said.

Arson investigators are on the scene, as well as the rescue team from the Houston Fire Department. They are working to make sure that the home is secure enough to be able to remove the bodies of the mother and son.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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