LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – Limestone County Coroner Mike West confirmed that a pregnant mother and young girl were killed in a mobile home fire Wednesday morning.
The fire happened on Jennings Chapel Road around 3:05 AM.
The coroner believes the initial ruling on their cause of death is smoke inhalation, but the victims’ bodies were taken to the state forensics lab in Huntsville for autopsy.
According to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, Leary made it out of the home initially, but died after running back in to try and save her daughter. The two were visiting the home from Tennessee.
A man who escaped the fire tells News 19 that six people were in the home at the time, but only four were able to get out without injuries.
32-year-old Shauna Leary and 2-year-old Sunshine Reynolds were killed in the fire, according to coroner Mike West. Leary was 11 weeks pregnant.
One of the men who escaped tells News 19 when he opened his eyes this morning, he couldn’t breathe. When he opened his bedroom door, black smoke knocked him to his knees. He said he broke a window in the room and jumped out to escape the home. He then ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911.
A friend of the family, Bruce Boles says when he found out about the fire, it was heart wrenching. “My reaction was grief, devastation, just mentally loss for words. It’s just something you don’t expect to happen to your friends.”
Robert Rolf is a volunteer with the Limestone County Chapter of the American Red Cross. He says they will be providing food, shelter, clothing, and personal assistance for the family.
“As a parent and a grandparents, I can’t think of anything worse than losing a child,” said Rolf.
Rolf adds that now is the time for the community to come together and help the family.
“It’s the best I can ask anybody to do is just to pray for them, and their wellbeing, and their mental state,” said Boles. “I know they’re in shock.”
Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department, East Limestone and Ardmore fire departments responded to the scene.
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshall are investigating the events leading up to the origin, and the circumstances surrounding the fire.