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Sources: Lighter Found Near Tree In Haltom City Fire

HALTOM CITY (CBSDFW.COM) - Investigators say no 911 calls were placed from inside a Haltom City home where a fire near a Christmas tree had erupted.

A grandmother and her three grandchildren died as a result of the fire.

Investigators say the fire erupted near the family’s Christmas tree in the living room and spread in minutes.

“My dad talked to her 5 minutes before it all happened,” said Yessenia Garces, 23. She lost her mother, her only 2 children and her nephew in the fire.

Neighbors saw smoke and called 911.

Firefighters discovered one child on the bottom floor of the home. Maritza Garces, 52, and 2 other children were found upstairs.

Firefighters performed CPR in the front yard and the 4 victims were transported to nearby hospitals.

Garces and her grandchildren, 5-year-old Gene Rayos, 3-year-old Jayleen Rayos and 2-month-old Jaime Moran Jr. died a short time later.

MORE: Haltom City Fire Victims Identified, Cause Investigated
MORE: Haltom City House Fire Kills 1 Adult & 3 Children

Investigators still have not said what ignited the fire, but sources tell CBS11 a lighter was found near the Christmas tree.

Garces babysat her 3 grandchildren daily while her daughters went to work.

Friday, a makeshift memorial began to accumulate around a tree in the family’s front yard.¬† Teddy bears, cards, flowers and candles were placed near the tree.

Yessenia Garces returned to the scene with family members, adding to the memorial and trying to salvage what she could from the home.

“Those are my babies. They were the most kind hearted, friendliest kids in the world,” Yessenia Garces said. “Everybody would fall in love with them. Just like my mom, they take after my mom.”

The American Red Cross arrive at the scene to help the family.

An account has been set up for the family. Money can be donated at any Wells Fargo bank branch to the Garces Memorial Fund.

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