Community mourns family tragedy in Franklin

FRANKLIN, Mass. (WHDH) — A tragic accident claimed the life of a young brother and sister in Franklin; the two died after getting trapped inside of a Hope Chest.

Smiling 8-year old Lexi and 7-year old Sean are how friends prefer to remember the two children.

“Sweet, very sweet. Sean was just bold. Just a bold kid, no fear,” said Dawn Powers, family friend.

The young brother and sister died inside their Franklin home after police say they managed to trap themselves inside a Hope Chest. The chest couldn't be opened from the inside and police say the TV was turned up loud enough where it would be difficult to hear cries for help.

Lexi and Sean were the youngest of five children.

“I can't imagine to lose just one child, that's bad enough, but to lose two. Absolutely devastating,” said Powers.

The company that made the Hope Chest, Lane Furniture, has a standing recall to replace the lock on the chest, warning:

"…several children have suffocated inside chests with old style locks. There are still an estimated six million chests that need the locks replaced."

Investigators say the family bought the chest used 12 years ago. It's unclear if the lock was ever replaced.

Lexi and Sean went to elementary school in Franklin along with their three older sisters. The superintendent set up grief counselors, saying this is one of the toughest things she's ever had to deal with.

“Nothing of this magnitude. It's incomprehensible, and we're really trying to make sense of it,” said Maureen Sabolinksi, Supt. Franklin Public Schools.

Franklin police and the district attorney’s office continue their investigation as they wait for autopsy results on the two children.