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Mother, 2 Children Die In Fire; Father Held Back By Firefighters

June 20, 1986

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ A badly burned man had to be physically restrained by firefighters Thursday to keep him from running back into his burning house, where his wife and two children were trapped, officials said.

Charles P. Smith was standing outside the wooden, two-story house engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived about 3:30 a.m., officials said.

He apparently had jumped from the roof of the two-story, Victorian-style house and was crying, ″Please save my babies, my wife,″ said a neighbor, Jayne Woodcock, who called in the alarm.

″We had to stop him physically from going back in,″ said fire Capt. Pat Herrington. ″There was no going in this house.″

Smith was able to tell firefighters his family was inside, but little else.

″He was pretty much delirious. ... he was hurt pretty bad himself,″ Waters said.

Smith, taken to Pensacola Baptist Hospital with first- and second-degree burns, was listed in serious condition, Herrington said. One firefighter also was treated at the hospital for exhaustion and released, he said.

When the fire was put out about two hours later, firefighters found the bodies of Mae Wynn Morgan-Smith, 31, and the children, Charles, 1, and Angela, 3, on the second floor.

The Smiths were restoring the 84-year-old building in the historic North Hill Preservation District.

Fire Inspector Mel Waters said the fire apparently started on the first floor near the only staircase.

The fire appeared to be accidental, possibly electrical in origin, said Sgt. Murray Holt, a police spokesman.

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