BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Five children who were asleep in the upstairs of a small Bentonville home died early Tuesday in a fire that swept through the residence.
The children's parents were in a downstairs bedroom and were awakened by a smoke alarm, but could not reach the children because of the smoke and flames, Fire Chief Dan White said.
The parents escaped from the blaze, which was reported at 1:22 a.m.
White said the fire appeared to be accidental, but police served a search warrant on the home later Tuesday based on items officers saw during the initial call. Among the items seized were a space heater and a small amount of suspected methamphetamine. Officers said there was not enough meth on hand to indicate a lab was in the home.
The children were identified as Kristan Frazier, 13, Kimberly Frazier, 11, Katelyn Mahmens, 9, Kaila Frazier, 8, and Kiya Frazier, 5.
Authorities identified the father as Jamie Dale Frazier, 33, and the mother as Kerry A. Mahmens Frazier, 27.
The bodies of the children were being sent to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for autopsies. Police said the items seized during the search also would be sent to the lab to be analyzed.
Fire officials described the house as 1 1/2 stories, with a very narrow stairway leading to the upstairs. White said he had to turn sideways to get through to the second floor.