Community grieves after Monroe family dies in cabin fire

BRINNON, Wash. — The Monroe community is grieving after a family of five was killed in a fire at their cabin.

Jerry and Jenny Drake and their three sons, ages 11, 8, 2, were visiting their cabin in Brinnon near Hood Canal. The fire broke out around 1 a.m., none of them survived.

PHOTOS: Aftermath of cabin explosion that killed 5

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

Neighbors told KIRO-7 they thought it was likely the propane tank.

The Drakes lived in Monroe. Their two oldest sons attended Fryelands Elementary School. Today the school announced there had been an accident.

The district had extra counselors on hand to work with students. Many students called their parents and some had to be picked up from school.

"This wasn't an anonymous family, they're well known in their faith community, well-known in the school community, really well-known in Boy Scouts. Everyone who met them felt the impact of this today," said Joe Neigel the Prevention Services Coordinator with the Monroe School District.

"It's important we communicate to our children, it's not their fault, that this was unavoidable. There's nothing we could have done to prevent it.

Encourage them, allow them to grieve so they can start to heal," said Neigel.

Sean Dalton lived next door to the Drakes for years. His son was friends with their oldest son.

"He was very energetic, very smart, a little mischievous sometimes, but that was very normal for that age," said Dalton.

He said Jerry Drake was an electrician.

He described the Drake's 8-year-old son, "Curious, helpful, he was always following his dad around and helping him with things."

The youngest was 2.

Dalton made sure he was at home to talk to his son after school today. Parents didn't get a chance to tell their children before school, so the school made an announcement and sent an email to parents about what was discussed in class.

"Value the connections you have because you never know how long they're going to be around," said Dalton.

A vigil is planned for the community on Thursday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Cascade Church in Monroe.

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