Boy, woman die in Lakeland house fire

LAKELAND, Fla. - In front of the burned-out home on Tradewinds Avenue, a quiet prayer from the Southeastern University softball team. They jogged up to the house and got in a circle. One by one, they offered a few words for the family that lived there.

Neighbors saw what was happening, and quickly joined in the circle.

Mark Mershon lives across the street and broke down this morning, wishing he could have done more.

"I tried hard. That's all I could do," said Mershon.  Mershon and others pushed past a fence and helped pull out some of the six family members that lived in the home.

A husband, and wife two of their children made it out.

But Mershson couldn't save everyone.  "I tried to go back for the other two. It was just too hot. Too smoky."

The other two, according to family members, were 65-year-old Conne Lehning Tamrit, who owned the house, and her 8-year-old grandson. 

Both were killed.

Neighbor Tammy Needs said fire took over the house in minutes.  "You could hear people screaming."

She said all she could think about were those children.  "I said a prayer for them which should tonight for that family." 

The Lakeland Fire Department says the fire started in the carport area, but they are still investigating the exact cause.

"The whole house was engulfed. I just couldn't get closer. I couldn't get closer," said Mershon.

A family member says the two surviving kids, two boys ages four and six are staying with relatives. Their mother was injured and hospitalized.

The Red Cross was contacting to help this family that lost everything, including two of their loved ones.

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