GALVESTON, Texas – The father who desperately tried to save his two children from a burning home over the weekend is a firefighter with the Galveston Fire Department, officials confirm.
The fire broke out around 2:35 a.m. Saturday on 21st Street and Avenue K.
The father, Dustin Jones, managed to get out of the house and tried to rescue his two children, identified by friends and family members as Jade and Logan Jones.
He and neighbors tried to go back inside, but the smoke and flames were too heavy.
Warren Mies, a navy veteran who lives behind the home told KPRC 2 that his neighbor banged on his door alerting him to the fire. He and his friends, who are Army veterans, attempted to crawl inside to rescue the children, but authorities at the scene told them to step back.
“[The neighbor] yelled, ‘call for help, the house is on fire. The kids are inside,’” he said, “Trying to get inside the window because we asked my neighbor, ‘what room are the kids in?’”
More than 20 firefighters responded to the scene and eventually located the children in a back bedroom.
They were both rushed to UTMB Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Jade was 3 years old and Logan was age 2.
On Monday evening, a memorial outside the home grew as people delivered teddy bears, flowers and children’s toys.
Elva Ayala held back tears as she whispered a prayer. Ayala delivered two stuffed animals and offered words of support for the family.
“We just came by earlier (and) I saw they were putting stuffed animals. I want to go get them some,” Ayala said.
Ayala’s pain was palpable as more people showed up throughout the day.
Lacey Stolver said she grew up with Jade’s mother. She stopped by with her daughter, after learning about the children’s death.
“We just came to pay our respects cause I got a daughter and I don’t know what I would do. They’re in my prayers,” Stolver said while clutching her 5-year-old daughter’s hand.
Family members said their grandfather is also a firefighter.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.