Fatal fire victims' father speaks out from jail - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Fatal fire victims' father speaks out from jail

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Benjamin Jackson said he never got to say goodbye to his children.

"They was already sleeping when I got home late that night," Jackson said.

A fire at their home in Calhoun County on March 14 claimed the lives of Patricia, 6, Aryanne,5, and Ryan, 7, Jackson. Benjamin Jackson's mother, Darlene Gooslin,57, also died.

"I woke up because I heard my mom scream two or three times for my brother," said Jackson, who claimed he was asleep at the time of the fire. "My youngest son was asleep beside me."

Jackson then described how he brought his son, Ryan, outside, but then the boy ran back into the flames.

"I couldn't get to him," he said. " I wish I could have gotten to him."

Jackson landed in Central Regional Jail in Braxton County after he was charged with possession of a controlled substance. After the blaze, Jackson spent time receiving treatment at a burn unit in Charleston before being transferred to Cabell-Huntington Hospital. Charleston was where authorities discovered Jackson was carrying meth, according to a supervisor at Central Regional Jail.

Jackson was brought to the jail on Saturday, which meant he missed his family's funeral that afternoon. He said his mother was cremated, but his children were buried somewhere in Clendenin.

"That's the reason I left the hospital, to help make arrangements," Jackson said.

The 35-year-old said he's struggled with meth addiction his entire life but claimed he's never used drugs around his family.

"I tried to be a good father," Jackson said. "I loved him. I don't let nobody do nothing around my kids. They didn't know anything about drugs except what they were taught at school."

He said the last time he got high was the morning before the fire. The West Virginia State Fire Marshal is still trying to figure out what caused the fire.

Jackson's bond is set at $3,000.

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