It happened around two a.m. Sunday morning on the 1700 block of Colon Mintz Way in Leland. The fire claimed the lives of two young children, six- and eight-year-old brothers Anthony and Tyler Bell. Both attended Lincoln Elementary School. "When fire crews arrived they found a fully engulfed structure with several victims outside the structure," said Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner. Three of the four other fire victims were transported to the North Carolina Burn Center in Chapel Hill. Two of those victims are also minors. Their condition is unknown. "Over the past couple months we've had several tragic fires," Garner said. "Just unfortunate tragic events so our responders are dealing with that as well." There have been five fatal fires in Brunswick County in the past six weeks. Garner urges residents to do everything they can to prevent future tragedies. "We would like to remind the public or take this opportunity to remind them to check their smoke detectors because that is a very important piece of equipment if you do have a fire inside your house," he said. NewsChannel Three spoke to the great grandmother of the two boys that were killed. She says the family is devastated and that this is a horrible way to start the holidays. Garner says the cause of this fire was combustible materials left too close to a heating device. The victims' names and causes of death have not yet been released. Friends and family are trying to cope by doing what they can to help. Family friend Rick Harshman said, "This family has lost everything they have, including two little boys and their home, and all their worldly possessions, we are immediately setting up a fund to except donations." If you would like to help the bell family, call 910-675-1871.
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