Family prepares to bury children killed in fire
A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the site of the fire
- Firefighters were dispatched around 6:39 p.m. Wednesday on reports of a manufactured home on fire on County Road 6480.
- Family members gathered for a meeting Thursday evening to discuss plans.
- The incident is under investigation by the San Juan County Fire and Explosion Task Force.
FARMINGTON — The family of two children who died during a fire Wednesday in Kirtland met Thursday evening in Farmington to discuss plans including a candlelight vigil tonight in honor of the children.
Mitchual Sam, 3, and his sister Hjordis Sam, 5, died in a trailer fire.
A blanket was spread across a table and family members placed donated cash in a blue bag on the table to help pay for funeral expenses.
At one point, the television news showed the story of the fire. The family members gathered around a large television to listen to the report.
Firefighters were dispatched around 6:39 p.m. Wednesday on reports of a manufactured home on fire on County Road 6480.
Volunteer firefighters from two San Juan County Fire districts and a Farmington Fire Department engine arrived on scene to a single-wide trailer on fire.
County Road 6480 was closed for two hours to allow the scene to be investigated.
Hjordis and Mitchual were recovered from the residence but the children were pronounced dead at the scene.
Derick Clah, the father of Mitchual, said he received a call Wednesday evening about the fire. He said by the time he arrived on scene, the fire had engulfed the building.
Paula Smith, who raised the children's mother, Theodora Hayes, said Hayes was at work when she received a call informing her about the fire and her children.
A teenage boy received minor injuries trying to put out the fire. He was treated at the scene and is an in-law of Hayes.
A candlelight vigil for Hjordis and Mitchual is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight at the site of the fire on County Road 6480.
The residence is east of Sunset Hills Baptist Church at 30 County Road 6480, just off County Road 6500. The event is open to the public.
The family did not know when they would receive the bodies of Hjordis and Mitchual Sam from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, however they have begun planning for burying the two young children.
The family plans to bury Hjordis and Mitchual in Farmington. Pastor Larry Jack will officiate.
A Gofundme site has been set up by the family at https://www.gofundme.com/4xhda5s.
The incident is under investigation by the San Juan County Fire and Explosion Task Force.
Reporter Joshua Kellogg contributed to the story.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.