Investigators from multiple agencies worked from dawn until dusk Monday, searching for a possible cause of an early morning fire at a residence that resulted in the death of a Greenville Independent School District sixth grader, Kayla Gonzalez.
Kayla is one of her family’s 10 children, five of whom are current students in the GISD. The school district is hosting a candlelight vigil this evening for Kayla, 12, and her sister, Joanna, 16, who attended New Horizons High School and was seriously injured in the fire.
“The fire is still under investigation at this time,” Hunt County Fire Marshal Richard Hill said Monday evening.
Units from the Greenville Fire-Rescue Department responded to the residence at the back side of a business at 2201 Interstate 30 East, after a motorist along the highway noticed flames and smoke at around 4 a.m. Monday.
Firefighters found the mobile home fully engulfed with people still inside the building.
The interstate was closed for a time to allow an air ambulance to land.
Joanna Gonzalez was transported via helicopter to the burn unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Her condition was unknown at press time.
Hill said Hunt County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Place 1 Wayne Money pronounced Kayla Gonzalez dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy.
Hill said his office and Greenville Fire Marshal Jake Papageorgiou conducted the investigation as to the cause of the blaze.
“The State Fire Marshal’s Office also brought out their Accelerant Detection Dog,” Hill said, noting nothing definitive had been determined. “It is an ongoing investigation at this time.”
The family reportedly lost everything in the fire.
The school district issued a statement Monday morning, indicating that sisters Jaquilene and Joselyn Gonzalez are in fourth and second grade, respectively, at Carver Elementary, and Bernice is a freshman at Greenville High School. Several of the older siblings, Abel, Anabel, Marisol, Jennifer and Blanca, also attended and graduated from Greenville High School.
There are also several nieces, nephews and cousins attending GISD schools.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help the family. Other donations may be dropped off at Carver Elementary School, attention Social Worker Whitney Threatt.
The candlelight vigil was set for 7 p.m. tonight at Carver Elementary, 2110 College Street, in Greenville.