Saucier Toddler Dies In Fatal Fire - - The News for South Mississippi

Saucier Toddler Dies In Fatal Fire

"I was sitting in my trailer and I heard some screaming and come running out," Kenneth Huffman said.

Huffman was among the first to see his neighbor's mobile home on Old Highway 49 burst into flames. He dialed 911, and leaped into action.

"I jumped the fence and grabbed a hose, and was spraying water in the window best I could," Huffman said. "Heard there was a child in there and I've got grandkids. I wanted to do what I could do."

Huffman and his neighbors used a fire extinguisher to break a window, hoping to reach the child. But the flames were just too intense.

"And went around back to see if I could get in the back door, but the flames were too high you couldn't get in it," said Huffman. "Fire department got here. Unfortunately, it was too late."

According to Coroner Gary Hargrove, one-year-old Kandice Hogue's mother was next door at a relative's house, getting clothes out of the dryer. That's when her older child ran up to her, and told her the house was on fire. 

"Oh, she was hysterical. She was screaming and going hysterical," said Huffman.

Investigators say the family was using an outdoor propone cooker to heat the home.  As fire investigators combed through the mobile home, searching for clues into the fatal fire, Huffman wishes he could have done more to help save the baby.

"I regret now. I wished I would have gotten a neighbor to soak me down and tried it anyway," Huffman said. "Yeah, it's rough. I just lost one of my best friends on January 8, and now this."

News of the tragedy shocked the small Saucier community. Neighbors describe the family as loving, and the children happy as they played in the front yard.

"I met them once after the storm, but I don't know them. We wave occasionally," Huffman said. "My heart goes out to them."

Kandice Hogue's two-year-old brother, Alan Hogue Jr., got out of the house just in time. He was not hurt. Their mother, Linda Elkins, received burns to her hands, and was taken to Memorial Hospital in Gulfport for treatment. The children's father, Alan Hogue, was not home when the fire broke out.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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