The bodies were taken to the State Medical Examiner’s office Wednesday afternoon, and the names of the victims will not be released until there
is positive identification. Authorities say the victims are a mother and
her three- and five-year-old sons.
The E-911 dispatchers at the Altus Police Department received a fire call at 10:57 a.m. and dispatched the Olustee Fire Department.
Jackson County Sheriff Roger Levick dispatched Deputy Dwayne Mills to assist Olustee Police Chief Victor Martinez in securing the scene for investigation.
The one-story frame house with a rock exterior was located at 501 “I”
street. It was totally destroyed.
Chief Martinez said an electrical problem may have been the cause. It’s believed it started in a faulty air conditioner.
The State Fire Marshall’s office was called to investigate the fatal fire.
The Olustee Fire Department was joined by firemen from Altus and Martha.
A Jackson County Medical Examiner was also called to Olustee to examine the bodies.
Sheriff Levick said the house is owned by Joe Marez, the father and grandfather of the victims. He lives next door and tried to force his way into the house when the fire was discovered. The victims apparently died from smoke inhalation.
Although authorities have not officially released the victims’ names, a family member has informed the Altus Times that an account to help with funeral expenses for Laura Marez and her children has been set up at Red
River Federal Credit Union.