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Father speaks about loss of family in tragic Kettering fire

Investigators are still trying to piece together what caused a fatal fire that took the lives of four people in Kettering last week.

Forrest Carroll, 76; Alicia Mobley, 36; Shaun N. Mobley Jr., 4 and Jacob S. Mobley, 2, died in a fire at the family’s home, 1963 Craig Dr., in the early morning hours of Thursday, Dec. 12.

According to an 8½-minute 911 call released Monday, the female caller tells the dispatcher 16 seconds into the call that the house next door is on fire. Just after the seven-minute mark, the dispatcher tells the caller that “we’ve got crews almost there” and then the caller confirms a police officer had arrived on the scene. At the 7:35 mark, the dispatcher says again, “We should have crews there.”

State Fire Marshal spokesman Michael Duchesne said Monday it is still waiting for the coroner’s report and there weren’t any updates on the investigation.

Kettering Fire Battalion Chief Jon Durrenberg said there were a total of approximately 18 firefighters — a combination of full- and part-time — in-house on duty during that time at the city’s seven stations, including Station 34 at 2700 Patterson Road, which is .4 miles from 1963 Craig Drive.

That number does not include on-call volunteer firefighters, he said. Durrenberg said he did not know what the response time was.

Shaun Mobley Sr. — in an exclusive interview with News Center 7 on Sunday — said he is appreciative of the care and support from the community after the fire.

Mobley Sr. and his two daughters survived the fire. One of the girls is a third-grader at Indian Riffle Elementary School and the other is an eighth-grader at Kettering Middle School.

“Tell your kids you love them and make sure that they really understand and know that you love them,” Mobley Sr. said. “ … Just look at them right now, give them a hug, give them a kiss, hold them tight and tell them you love them because you don’t know when the last time you’re going to say that.”

Mobley Sr. described the scene inside the 1963 Craig Drive home after it caught fire about 3:45 a.m. Thursday.

“(Alicia) wakes me up and says, ‘Honey, something’s on fire,’” he said.

He said she then went across the hall to get the two boys while he headed downstairs to get the girls.

“If I knew she wasn’t behind me, I wouldn’t of came down the stairs,” Mobley Sr. said. “In five hours, my life was gone.”

Thursday also was the couple’s 11-year wedding anniversary, Mobley Sr. said. As of Monday afternoon, funeral arrangements had not been made yet, according to the family.

A “Mobley Memorial Fund” has been established at Fifth Third Bank, and donations can be made at any branch location. A account also has been set up, and $13,350 had been donated as of 5 p.m. Monday.

A donation drive is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, in the Indian Riffle Elementary gymnasium, 3090 Glengarry Drive.

Staci Turner, one of the event organizers, said gift cards, small items such as makeup and toiletries, and monetary donations are encouraged. Three storage units and three beds have already been donated, she said.

More than 9,000 people have been invited on Facebook and nearly 1,000 say they are attending the event.

“It’s absolutely amazing to see people coming together for this family,” said Turner, who does not know Mobley Sr. but is acquaintances with a family member. “I never dreamed that a simple event on Facebook would explode the way that it has.”

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