MOSCOW MILLS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- An early morning fire on November 30 in Lincoln County that left a young boy dead and four others injured was ruled an accident by fire officials.
Firefighters arrived to a fully engulfed mobile home in the 100 block of Blue Bunting Circle in Moscow Mills just before 2 a.m. Firefighters put out the blaze and began searching the home for a child that was unaccounted for. About 10 family members were inside the home when the fire erupted.
Jaxon Noble Parks, a 7-year-old boy, was found dead inside the home. His grandfather said he tried fighting through the flames to save his grandson.
"I could see the sparks coming from the front of the house outside, and from that moment on, it seemed like everything took forever to do, it wasn't so fast, it seemed like everything took too long," said Parks's grandfather Scott Strenkowski.
Officials said nine people were able to escape from the home before fire crews arrived. Family members said they ran back in to grab other children.
"My mom was coming with the baby and my sister and my dad and my brother went in for the other kids," said Josphine Krumley.
Strenkowski and his wife Gemma said they took care of Jaxon every other weekend. They said they are grateful that the rest of the family made it out, but can't comprehend what life will be like without Parks.
"It hurts so much and I just wish we could have gotten him," said Gemma Strenkowski.
Four people were taken to a hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation. Three of them have been released but a 21-year-old with Down Syndrome remains in the hospital.
The Lincoln County Fire District said the fire was accidental and believed to be started by a candle. The power was out in the neighborhood and the family lit candles to provide light in the home.
Survivors of the deadly fire told News 4 they also believed a burning candle may have started the flames.
Counselors were on hand at Peine Ridge Elementary School Monday morning to help students and faculty get though the day as the mourn the lost of the second grader. Peine Ridge Principal Dr. Ryan Andrews said Parks's love and excitement for life was contagious.
“You couldn’t pass him without him giving you a high five or a hug. We are heartbroken and we are going to miss him," said Andrews.
A fundraiser is being held for Parks's family at the Texas Roadhouse on Veteran's Memorial Parkway in Wentzville from 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help Parks's family. To donate, click here.