By Michael Cantu and Ryan Crowe
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Emergency officials at the scene of a Wednesday night mobile home fire confirm four children were killed. And now, the father of three of the children has been charged in connection with their deaths.
Firefighters were called to the home just before 11:00 p.m. in the 14000 block of County Road 1430.
Thursday afternoon, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office announced Wesley Lance Harvey, 28, is charged with four counts of abandoning or endangering a child with criminal negligence. His arrest warrant states he had left the children at the home with space heaters in use.
The sheriff’s office says Harvey could face additional charges. His bond has been set at $50,000.
The children were identified as 7-year-old Elijah Lucas, 4-year-old Kenneth Harvey, 3-year-old Twilah Harvey and 2-year-old Weslynn Harvey.
Wesley Harvey is the father of the three younger children, and lived at the home with the children and their mother, who was at work at the time.
He admitted to police he left the home for an hour while the children were sleeping, arriving 20 minutes after firefighters arrived. That’s when firefighters learned there were children inside.
Harvey’s arrest warrant says the children were burned and had smoke-related injuries. The older three were transported to UMC where they were pronounced dead. Weslynn Harvey was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wolfforth, Carlisle and Woodrow volunteer fire departments responded to the scene, alongside deputies with the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office. The state fire marshal is currently investigating the fire.
Officials with Frenship ISD were able to confirm Elijah Lucas was a student with the school district and gave this statement: “The Frenship ISD family shares our deepest condolences as we grieve today with those who experienced tragic loss in last night’s house fire. We extend our love and deepest sympathies to the families affected as we carry the burden of this tragedy together.”
The children’s grandfather released a statement Thursday night:
They will be missed. Eli was so smart and sweet he never left our house with out telling us he loved us, we were so blessed to have him in our family since he was 4 months old. Ledger was funny and always said something to make his aunt laugh. Twilah was the little girl that asked for a pink dress and pretty rings. Weslynn was very serious but could wrap you around her finger with one look of her big blue eyes. They were very loved and came to our house every Sunday for dinner, they are missed by a very large family and we were very blessed to have them.
(Ledger was a family nickname for 4-year-old Kenneth)
The grandfather went on to say Wesley was a good father. “He just made a mistake," he said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family. You can find the link HERE.
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