Fatal Fire in Etowah

KEENER, Al (WIAT) — A young boy is dead, his mother is in a coma and the fire that caused it all is under investigation. It happened Monday night in the Keener community, that’s in Etowah County. Tonight, WIAT 42 NEWS spoke with a neighbor who tried to help the night of the fire.

“It was just boom, pow pow pow pow,” says Gary Moore. “It sounded like somebody shooting guns.”

What Moore actually heard were explosions coming from inside Jennifer Bates mobile home.

“She told me that she had a birthday party going on then the candle exploded,” says Bates of his neighbor.

That fire quickly spread through the double wide trailer, trapping nine year old Callister Atchley.

“She couldn’t, she tried to get him, wake him up and she couldn’t get him awake,” says Moore. “So that was a bad sign right there that something was wrong. But you couldn’t go back there. There was no way. Flames were fifteen, twenty feet high.”

Jennifer was able to get out of the burning structure with her two other children, a ten year old girl and a four year old boy. Both have now been released from the hospital. However Jennifer remains in a medically induced coma. Gary says he’s still in shock and wishes he could have done more to help.

“I’d seen them all out there that evening,” says Moore. “They were swimming, playing and hollering and having a good time in that swimming pool. And just a few hours later, dead.”

The family was very isolated in the community and didn’t know many of their neighbors. Parishioners at the nearby Keener Baptist Church are working to take up donations and help the family in their time of need.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 NEWS

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