Investigation in Broaddus house fire continues, fundraiser in place

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A follow up on the Broaddus house fire that killed three small children one week ago.

Investigators are looking for answers, turning over what's left of the trailer to find out what sparked the fire that killed three children.

"We were very close to these children," San Augustine County Sheriff David Smith said. "They were part of our church family and it really is just, with myself, I'd like to see some closure here so the family can move on."

As county employees work to remove the roof off of the trailer, investigators are hoping what lies beneath will give some clue as to what happened.

A preliminary investigations shows the fire started near the kitchen while the family slept.

However, the state fire marshal's office and private investigators for an insurance company are scouring the ashes for what really happened.

State officials will only say the investigation is ongoing.

An autopsy should confirm Austin McGee, 9,  Brandon Reiter, 6,  and Shaina Reiter, 4, died of smoke inhalation at their Broaddus-area home Wednesday night off CR 3350.

Their father pulled all three out of the house as an EMT tried in vain to revive the children.

"At a time like this, I really don't know what to say, so I just hope and pray for them to give them the strength to get through," said Brandi Davis, who is organizing a fundraiser for the family.

Davis is rallying her neighborhood business to help the family.

"Losing three children, that's a lot to take anyway and then just it's good to give back to anybody that's having a hard time and then especially right here at Christmas time," Davis said.

As the community works to support the family, investigators hope to shed light on the tragedy.

"It would be good to know the cause of the fire and what happened here and to let the family be able to realize that they did everything they could to save those children," Davis said.

The fundraiser for the family will be Friday at the Lighthouse Lodge in San Augustine.

Brisket plates will be served at 6 p.m. with the live band starting at 8 p.m. Plates are

$15 each.

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