OXFORD, Ala. (WIAT) — Fire officials in Oxford confirmed they battled a fatal fire early Saturday morning where a 13-year-old girl died.
According to the Oxford Fire Department, the fire started around 5:15 a.m. in a trailer home at 96 Marie Anne Drive in Eastaboga.
Calhoun County Assistant Coroner Jay Bowden tells WIAT42 News Apryl Gabriel Laureano died around 7:30 a.m after being pulled from the fire.
Four other members of her family escaped the blaze. Her mother, Jennifer Tinajero, 32, stepfather Ruben Tinajero, 29, Ruben Iziah Tinajero, 10 and Brea Tinajero, 9, were transported to the Regional Medical Center in Anniston. Her stepfather attempted to rescue the girl, but could not get back into the home.
Laureano’s body was sent to Huntsville for an autopsy, but the preliminary cause of death is smoke inhalation and thermal burns. She was a student at Oxford Middle School.
The home was described as a total loss.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined and is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal. Officials say there may not have been a smoke detector in the house.
WIAT discovered that Apryl’s mother works at the Coldwater Friendly Stop gas station in Oxford. Upon learning of Apryl’s death, workers at the gas station stepped up to collect donations for the family. One employee we spoke with says she remembers Apryl coming in nearly every day, and always having a smile on her face.
“Somebody else is down and has a frown on their face, she knows how to pick them up and have them smile back at her, even if they’re having a bad day. Today we need someone to smile at her and her family,” says Melvin Kelly.
If you would like to donate to the Laureano/Tinajero fund, you can stop by the Coldwater Friendly Store. It’s located at 596 Priebes Mill Road in Oxford.
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