Omaha fire officials said Friday that it was “highly probable” that space heaters caused the fire that killed two young children inside their mobile home.
Space heaters were placed throughout the residence, officials said.
The blaze, which has been ruled accidental, apparently started in the living room, said Omaha Battalion Chief William Bernard.
Brothers Gabriel Rodriguez, 3, and Brandon Rodriguez, 3 months, died Wednesday in the fire at Maplewood Estates mobile home park near 129th Street and West Maple Road.
Champaine C. Harn, the 18-year-old mother of the boys, remains hospitalized at Creighton University Medical Center. Harn was upgraded Friday from critical to serious condition.
However, she is on a ventilator and unable to breathe on her own because of smoke inhalation, said Tammy Salas, Harn's mother. Salas said her daughter remained in a medically induced coma.
Harn's only surviving child, 13-month-old Adrianna Rodriguez, has been released from the hospital and is living with family members.
Donations to help the family can be made to:
» Fire Fatality Benefit Fund at the Omaha Fire Fighters Credit Union or by mail at 4630 S. 143rd St., Omaha, NE 68137. Donations also can be dropped off at the union hall at 60th and Grover Streets, or at any fire station.
» Another fund has been established at Creighton Federal Credit Union. Donations can be made at any branch.
» Monetary and material donations can be taken between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to the Maplewood Estates manager's office, 12801 Spaulding Plaza.
The owners of the mobile home park released a statement Friday: “Our hearts and prayers go out to the survivors and their families for the loss they have suffered.”