ASCENSION PARISH, LA (FOX44) — What was supposed to be a happy day is now a day of mourning for a family in the community of Darrow. A fire broke out just before midnight last night and took the lives of two young boys.
"It's not happening," said Nicole Elder. Nicole Elder is now living a nightmare. What was supposed to be a joyous day is now anything but joyous.
"We think this fire progressed beyond the sofa we believe it started on and filled the whole building with smoke and flames," says Butch Browning, the LA State Fire Marshal.
Nicole left her home for less than five minutes and in those five minutes her home became engulfed in flames and filled with smoke. One of Nicole’s four children, Donovea suddenly woke in a panic. "I was trying to look for a window look for a bathroom window so I could breathe out some air," said Donovea.
With family that lives around the home a group effort was made to try and save the children but all Nicole could do was watch. "You just heard them screaming," noted Nicole. Donovea and her sister broke a window to jump out. "I was looking for my brothers and I heard Kevin screaming and I tried to grab him but I couldn't grab him,’ said Donovea.
And when the fire department arrived, it was too late for Kevin, 4 and Diamani, 6. "In this case we lost 2 precious children," said Fire Marshal Browning with tears in his eyes.
"Now even though the fire department arrived within 5 minutes of the call if a smoke detector was used their chances of survival would have gone u to 80 percent. Browning says,” the message here is if you don't have a smoke alarm in your home you need to get one if your family."
Now while most other families are celebrating this family will mourn and remember.
"My brother Diamani he liked to play outside and he liked to go to school and my other brother he liked sponge bob," Donovea said as she told NBC33 about her two brothers.
And ironically, the volunteer fire station was less than 200 feet away from the home. The fire is still under investigation but the State Fire Marshal's Office tells NBC33 that it appears to be accidental.