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4 who died in Kitsap fire identified, all family members

The Kitsap County Coroner's Office identified the four family members killed in a Port Orchard house fire over the weekend as: Vili Gallejo Simpson, 63; Merle Eugene Simpson III, 38; Madison Ann Simpson, 2; and Collin Daniel Simpson, 1. (Photo: Simpson family)

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- The four people who died in a house fire near here Saturday were three generations of the same family.

The Kitsap County Coroner's Office identified the four as: Vili Gallejo Simpson, 63; Merle Eugene Simpson III, 38; Madison Ann Simpson, 2; and Collin Daniel Simpson, 1.

The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office says Vili Simpson was the mother of Merle Simpson and the grandmother of the two children. Merle Simpson was the children's father.

All died from smoke inhalation.

But their manner of death has not been determined as the Kitsap County fire marshal tries to determine a cause of the fire.

The fire occurred about 3:45 a.m. Saturday in the 3800 block of Southeast Castlewood Drive outside Port Orchard.

“I grabbed my phone and dialed 911,” said next door neighbor John Spillinger. He saw the flames shooting out of his Simpson's home. “I run out and I look and my neighbor is at the end of his driveway."

Neighbors say the entire home was engulfed in flames.

“He kept saying they're trapped. They're trapped. I couldn't get to them,” said Spillinger.

South Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters said the flames were so strong and fierce---it was just too dangerous to go into the home.

“That's terrible. I've seen what it looks like in the inside. Everything is gone. The family is gone,” said Spillinger.

A makeshift memorial for a family continues to grow outside the home as family and neighbors now remember the lives lost - a devoted grandmother who retired to spend more time with her grandchildren, a caring and witty dad, and two young children who's laughter filled the air.

“They're small children. They have no chance to live,” said Spillinger.

The mother of the young children killed said she's at a loss of words, but relatives said she's profoundly grateful for all the prayers, the messages, and the online donations made.

A man in his 60s was able to get out of the house during the fire and was taken to a local hospital.


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