Tallahassee Democrat

Franklin County fire kills three
Father and two children die from smoke inhalation
By Kristin McDonald

An early morning fire Thursday claimed the lives of a father and his two young daughters in Franklin County, fire officials said.

The victims were identified as Chris Tobin, 24, and his daughters, Kenzie, who would have turned 3 on Saturday and Myra, 11 months old, said Bert Simmons, chief of the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department.

Initial autopsies performed by the medical examiner's office in Tallahassee indicated the three died of smoke inhalation, according to Investigator Joseph Steadman of the state Fire Marshal's Office.

When firefighters arrived at the Tobin residence just west of Apalachicola, flames had engulfed the house, car and shed, Simmons said. "I could see the flames from a mile away."

The fire took more than three hours to extinguish, Simmons said.

The mother of the children, who was not identified, was taken to George E. Weems Memorial Hospital in Apalachicola, Simmons said, but the extent of her injuries was unknown.

Steadman said the investigation, which includes the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, is ongoing and has not determined the cause of the blaze.

The Eastpoint Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the fire at 41 Bay Shore Drive.