Fire Kills Six

April 20, 2005-- Posted at 10:50 p.m. CDT

HUMPHREY, Ark. (AP) - State police say five children are among six people dead after fire destroyed a mobile home at Humphrey, on the Arkansas-Jefferson County line.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said authorities on the scene had confirmed that at least six were dead in the blaze Wednesday evening. He said five of them were children of various ages, and one of the fatalities appears to be an adult female. Sadler said children in the neighborhood reported that other youngsters, in addition to those whose bodies were found, may have been in the home when the fire occurred shortly after 6:00 p.m. He said that could not be confirmed, but a search was under way, based on witness accounts, for the bodies of other children who may have been in the mobile home. Sadler had neither names nor ages of the victims. Sadler said the children apparently were not all from the same family, but said he didn't know why they might have been at the home. He said investigators would be looking into the possibility that the home might have been serving as a day-care center for children, but that is only speculation. Sadler said the blaze was reported to the Humphrey Volunteer Fire Department at 6:08 p.m. He said the first person responding to the fire found it engulfed in flames. He said the bodies of all the victims would be sent to the state Crime Lab in Little Rock for autopsies.

Humphrey, a town of about 800 people, sits astride the Arkansas-Jefferson county line about 40 miles southeast of Little Rock. In 2000, four Humphrey teenagers were killed in the collision of a train and a car as the teenagers returned to their school at the end of a lunch break.