'Prayers Are Always Welcomed': Toddler Dead, Brothers and Dad Recovering After Tennessee Car Fire

A Tennessee car fire has left a toddler dead and his brothers and father injured, according to local authorities

Published Time: 09.07.2024 - 21:31:17 Modified Time: 09.07.2024 - 21:31:17

A Tennessee car fire has left a toddler dead and his brothers and father injured, according to local authorities.

According to a Facebook update from the Rocky Top Police Department, authorities responded to a vehicle fire on Norris Freeway at Mason Street on Friday, July 5, in which one fatality was confirmed. As a result of the fire, authorities shut down Norris Freeway for hours.

Authorities did not immediately identify those involved in the incident and directed inquiries to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. PEOPLE reached out to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for further comment, but they did not immediately respond.

The family members involved in the incident were identified as dadChip Montague,Maximus Montague, 3, Hendrix Montague, 2, and1-year-old Oakley Montague, who died in the fire, according toABC affiliate WATEand aGoFundMeorganized by a cousin.

Rocky Top PoliceChief John Thomas told local outlet, the OakRidger, that the call about a vehicle fire was received at 12:41 p.m. local time.

“It happened right in front of the gas station and the tenant from the gas station ran over with a fire extinguisher,” Roth explained to WATE. “Chip was able to get Hendrix out first, and then Maximus and he could -

n’t get to Oakley.”

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NBC affiliate WBIR corroborated Roth's recollection, with one witness noting to the outlet that two explosions occurred as a result of the fire. The same witness also stated that they grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran to the car to help the occupants escape.

According to the GoFundMe, "Chip; the boys father, has 3rd degree burns on both his hands and arms as well as to the side of his face. Maximus is now in ICU and on breathing tubes with burns from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. Hendrix has severe 3rd degree burns on one half of his body and will be in a burn unit."

The campaign's organizer, Kayla Hann, also noted, "As we rally together as a family to try to figure out life after this tragedy, bills and funeral expenses should be the last of my aunt and her husbands worries. Any amount will help and prayers are always welcomed."

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation told WBIR that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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