AMITY, Ore. (KOIN) — Authorities said an Oregon woman died trying to save her 8-year-old daughter after the motorhome they lived in caught fire — neither survived the incident.
Fire officials said the fire began early Tuesday and engulfed the home in rural Yamhill County — south of Amity.
Capt. Chris Ray of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office identified the mother as 37-year-old Honey Cosgrove. The Amity School District said the girl — 8-year-old Nevaeh Applegate — was a third-grader. She was a week away from celebrating her 9th birthday.
Amity Fire Chief Bruce Hubbard said the home was fully engulfed in flames when their first engine arrived. Cosgrove and her five children were inside the home when the fire erupted — four made it out.
According to Patty Krull — the mother and grandmother to the victims — Nevaeh ran back into the burning motorhome to save the puppies they were looking after, so Cosgrove ran after her.
“Her sister had her at the doorway and said ‘Go Nevaeh!’ turned and said ‘The puppies!’ and didn’t leave. She went after the puppies,” Krull said.
The four other children witnessed their sister and mother run into the burning home. Krull and her husband called 911 after Cosgrove’s 11-year-old alerted them of the fire. According to Krull, the fumes “ignited quickly and it was over very quickly.”
“Honey was the most loving and giving child I had,” Krull said. “She was a friend to everybody. She had nothing but pure love in her — for everyone.”
Krull called both Nevaeh and Cosgrove her “heroes.”
“A little 8-year-old girl didn’t know that she was putting her life on the line,” Krull said. “She knew there were babies there and went to get the babies and the mother went to get the baby.”
The school district said on its Facebook page that several of the girl’s siblings survived, and the district will be looking for ways to provide support in the weeks and months ahead. Krull said the surviving siblings are an 11-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl.
Amity Christian Church has set up a fund to help the surviving family members. Donations can be dropped off at First Federal Savings & Loan.
Hubbard said there’s nothing suspicious about the fire and they’ve determined is that a heat source was too close to flammable material. He also added the home had no smoke alarms.