MacCaffrie said there were many items piled near the stove, which caused the fire to spread quickly. The home’s small size was a factor, too, he said.
“As most confined units can, the fire built up very quickly,” Schultz said.
Neighbors gathered outside their homes, some sobbing as firefighters battled the blaze.
One woman was holding a teddy bear, which she said she intended to give to the family.
No neighbors interviewed knew the family, but many said they would often see children playing outside during the day.
Police were interviewing neighbors in front of their houses and setting up barriers so no one would approach the house.
Firefighters removed furniture and other items from the house. Smoke continued to roll out the back of the home more than an hour after the fire was put out. Large black scorch marks were visible on the outside of the house. A crib could also be seen through the window closest to where the smoke was coming out.
Michelle Flynn lives diagonally across from the home. She said she heard some type of explosion and ran outside.
“There was a loud bang and then I just started smelling smoke in my house,” Flynn said. “I ran outside and the whole trailer park seemed to be just filled with smoke. Just seconds after that, I heard all the sirens approaching.”
Flynn said she would often see children playing outside the home, but did not know who they were.
“It’s devastating,” Flynn said. “There are so many children on this strip; I just hope it wasn’t one of them.”
George Simard, one of the owners of Whispering Pines, was in his office down the street at the time. He said he didn’t hear any explosion, but looked to see what was going on when he heard the sirens.