STRAFFORD, Mo. – The community of Strafford is reacting to the news of a 1-year-old girl killed Tuesday night in a mobile home fire on Highway OO.

Ozarksfirst spoke to family members who were on the scene.

“I’m trying not to cry,” said Betty Kammerer. “I saw them carrying the baby to the ambulance.”

At about 9:45, Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole said fire crews responded to a trailer engulfed in flames.

He said early reports show the family member was able to get the 3-year-old out safely, but when the family member returned to get the 1-year-old, they were unsuccessful.

“The child was not properly supervised at the time,” said Cole. “The child was awake, and the family member was asleep. That’s the early report that we’re getting. I always caution people to realize early reports are often wrong, so I would not rush into any conclusions, but that’s what early reports are.”

Kammerer said it’s hard to process what happened.

“We could not get to her,” she said. “They said we should have, and why was my son sleeping. Well, he runs a 24-hour wrecking services. He runs all hours, so he sleeps when he can.”

Locals said, regardless, the situation is heartbreaking.

“To hear something like that, it makes you want to just sit back and think, especially if you have kids or grandkids,” said Terry Bradley, who lives in Strafford.

Area fire departments were alerted to the fire and were immediately warned a person may be trapped inside.

“We always treat all calls urgently,” said Fair Grove Fire Chief Randall Hoskins. “However, when we do know there is a victim, there’s definitely a higher level of expectation that we place amongst ourselves to perform at a top level on calls like that.”

Hoskins said this outcome is their worst fear when they respond to a call.

“Last night is a good example of a horrible, tragic incident that fireman in our area deal with daily around the area,” said Hoskins.

He said it does take a toll on first responders.

“I think it just really shows how dedicated and passionate someone has to be to serve their community, to work in this profession and see stuff like that, and continue to come to work every day,” he said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.