AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Travis County EMS said a child died Thursday morning in an accidental mobile home fire at a north Austin mobile home park.

Austin Fire Department Division Chief Thayer Smith said five children escaped from the home on their own, and fire crews fund a 4-year-old girl dead inside.

The call about the fire in the 8100 block of Research Boulevard northbound came in around 3:44 a.m. The park is located near the intersection with North Lamar Boulevard.

Smith described the scene as “chaotic” when crews arrived. Only one mobile home caught fire, and as many as nine people were inside when it started, he said.

ATCEMS said while five people got out unhurt, one child died and three others were taken to the hospital:

  • Two adults (one with critical, life-threatening injuries, one with serious injuries)
  • Another child (serious injuries)

ATCEMS said some patients suffered severe burns and/or injuries from smoke inhalation.

Smith said the child with serious injuries is a one-year-old.

Jazlyn Urbin is a neighbor, and said she is friends with one of the children who escaped. Just a few days ago, they graduated elementary school together.

“It was fun, because we went to go out and eat and go to the jumping places,” she said.

Her mood is much different on Thursday, after she was woke up early in the morning and found out that her friend’s home was on fire. The 11-year-old said her friend talked to her just before she left with law enforcement.

“She just said that one of her little cousins was still in the house,” Urbin recalled.

Urbin said she remembered seeing the 4-year-old playing outside with her cousins, and that she was shy.

“That broke my heart into pieces because I’m a mother, myself,” said another neighbor who wished to remain anonymous. “I just could not imagine the pain that those parents are going through right now.”

APD Victim Services is working with the family who might be displaced because of the fire.

Smith said the fire was accidental and began from a portable hot plate being used to cook in a bedroom. The mobile home is a total loss.

“I mean, this is one of the most difficult things we do with children involved, and a lot of the same crews that were at the last fire are the same crews on duty tonight, this morning, so just extremely difficult for all the crews, you know, obviously for the families as well, but, you know, this is one of the toughest things we do,” Smith said.

  • The mobile home that caught fire in north Austin the morning of June 2, 2022 is considered a total loss, Austin Fire said. One child died in the fire. (KXAN Photo/Candy Rodriguez)
  • The mobile home that caught fire in north Austin the morning of June 2, 2022 is considered a total loss, Austin Fire said. One child died in the fire. (KXAN Photo/Candy Rodriguez)
  • The mobile home that caught fire in north Austin the morning of June 2, 2022 is considered a total loss, Austin Fire said. One child died in the fire. (KXAN Photo/Candy Rodriguez)
  • A child died in a fire at a mobile home located at 8105 Research Boulevard. (Austin Fire Photo)
  • A child died in a fire at a mobile home located at 8105 Research Boulevard. (Austin Fire Photo)
  • A child died in a fire at a mobile home located at 8105 Research Boulevard. (KXAN Photo/Christian Marcelli)

Two mobile homes burned at the same mobile home park late on May 17. AFD said that fire was an accident. Paramedics with ATCEMS took three adults and three kids to the hospital from the fire.

He also said the last fire also proved to be deadly.

“There were six patients in that. And then I believe two have died since the fires. There were two deceased from that fire,” Smith said.

While he said the two fires are not connected, Smith said there is a takeaway message.

“Certainly, there’s some other takeaways, obviously, about cooking appliances and appropriate cooking and that sort of thing. But the big one is smoke alarms,” he said.

Smith said because the home is destroyed, they won’t know if it had a smoke alarm until they interview the adults who are currently in the hospital.

AFD said the home of the previous fire about two weeks ago did not have a smoke alarm. Many neighbors KXAN spoke with on Thursday also said they did not have smoke alarms in their homes.

Urbin’s mom told KXAN they do have a working smoke alarm in their home, but the soon-to-be-middle-schooler said she’s still afraid to go to bed, sometimes.

“I’m just scared that it’s going to happen again,” Urbin said.

Code history

Smith explained that the mobile home community is made up of families with extended family members living in the same mobile home and that he didn’t believe that was a code violation.

KXAN asked the Austin Code department if they had been out to the North Lamar Community Mobile Home Park before the fires.

They said they only respond to complaints they receive through Austin 311.

Code enforcement issued violations for a gas leak complaint in 2019 and a work without permit complaint in October 2020. They said those had been corrected and neither were for the homes affected by recent fires.