Father of four dies in fire

Father of four dies in overnight fire
Three of the four children pictured
Three of the four children pictured

(WMC-TV) - Fire investigators are still trying to find out what caused a deadly overnight fire in Lakeland, Tenn.  

This is the second fatal fire that the Shelby County Fire Department has responded to this year.  

Many residents are devastated by the loss of another neighbor.

"I see like the whole house. The windows busted and everything, like fire just flaming out the windows and stuff.  Right when I called 911 the fire department pulled up and everything," said neighbor Devin Krajewski.

That's how Krajewski describes the scene moments after 48-year-old Mark Welch's home went up in flames.

"I heard the sirens last night and they woke me up.  This place was full of police cars and fire trucks and everything like that, so my son got scared and came and woke us up," said neighbor Michael Britt.

Welch, the father of four, died in the blaze.

"Not many people around here knew him or nothing.  He kept to himself a lot," said Krajewski.

It happened around early Sunday morning at the Canada Trace Mobile Home Park in Lakeland.

When officers arrived at this home in the 3000 block of Shoehorn it was on fire, Welch was trapped inside.

"The sister came over because she got the call he didn't make it, so she was sitting there. That was sad too, because she was really heartbroken from that," said Krajewski.

Investigators spent Sunday sifting through the charred rubble in search of clues to determine the exact cause of the fire and how Welch may have died.

"Definitely a tragedy.  I feel really bad because he was already pretty sick from what I understood," said Britt.

"I know it's bad and everything and we're feeling sad for his family.  Just try to move on and make the best of it," said Krajewski.

Firefighters said two smoke detectors were removed from the home, but they still have not determined if they were working.

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