"I was like 'im going in there' ... but we couldnt get in there it was just impossible." Heavy flames leaving her unable to reach her family, Gonzalez was forced to wait for the fire department. They arrived just six minutes later, but by then it was too late. "Its really hard to lose four people all at once, especially my grand daughter, she never really had a chance to live."
61-year-old Sharon Cashatt, 21-year-old Douglas Cashatt, 13-year-old Dominic Cashatt and 10-year-old Isabella Gonzales died in the overnight blaze, while two others escaped, the fire's destruction so complete, firefighters arranged to immediately demolish the home so it would not threaten public safety.
"We do believe this case to be accidental in nature," Rockford F.D. Division Chief Matthew Knott said in a news conference. He says they're still working to determine a cause. They're not sure whether the home had working smoke detectors.
A Christmas tree was in living room was in the area where the blaze originated feeding the flames.
Whatever started it, family members of the four victims must now cope with their loss. Tara Gonzalez says, "all we can do now is pray and try to figure out why this happened ."