SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Seven people are dead in an early morning house fire that also injured three others.
Four adults and three children were killed.
The fire started around 1:30 a.m. at a house in the 1100 block of Severson Ave. in South Memphis.
Firefighters say smoke was coming from the home when they arrived.
The home had bars on all its windows.
When they got inside, firefighters found ten victims, four adults, and six children.
The three surviving children were taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition.
Lt. Wayne Cooke with the Memphis Fire Department said this is one of the worst fires he's had to deal with in his 27 years with the department.
Cooke says grief counselors will be provided for the personnel who handled the fire.
Memphis, Tennessee, House Fire Kills Six Kids and Four Adults
by Elisha Fieldstadt
Four adults and six children died Monday morning in a Tennessee house fire, according to the Memphis Fire Department.
The adults and three of the children were pronounced dead at the scene of the fire that sparked in a South Memphis home, the Memphis Fire Department said. Three more children died at Le Bonoheur Children's Hospital.
Firefighters responded to the blaze at about 1:30 a.m., and had extinguished the flames and carried the ten victims out of the house within 15 minutes, according to NBC affiliate WMC.
The station reported that after the flames were out, firefighters on the scene became very emotional.
"In my 27 years with the Memphis Fire Department, I have never seen this amount of victims on one incident," MFD spokesman Lt. Wayne Cooke told WMC. "We sincerely pray for this family and for the loved ones of this family."
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Updated 24 mins ago
MEMPHIS, TN -- Tennessee officials are trying to determine the cause of a house fire that killed four adults and three children in Memphis and injured three others.
Local news outlets report that the fire began 1:30 a.m. Monday.
Lt. Wayne Cooke of the Memphis Fire Department says a family of 10 lived in the house. Fire officials say four adults and three children died at the scene. Three other children were taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in "extremely critical condition."
It took about 15 minutes for firefighters to put out the fire.
It's unclear what started the fire or if the home had a working smoke detector.
7 KIDS & 4 ADULTS DEAD IN HOUSE FIRE “I’ve Never Seen Firefighters Cry”
September 12, 2016
Seven children were among 11 people who died in a house fire in South Memphis, TN this morning.
The children who were killed in this fire were Angel, 16; Cameron, either 8 or 10; Alonzo Ward, 6; Diamond; Precious Rose, 3; Kira; and Ernest Jr. Ages were unknown for Diamond, Kira and Ernest Jr.
The adults were identified as Carol Collier, 56; Lakeisha Ward, 27, mother of Alonzo Ward; and Eloise Futrell, 61. There was also an unidentified 18-year-old man.
A red toy truck and part of a bike remained untouched by the fire on the porch of the burned house on Severson.
Collier called 911; by the time fire crews arrived, 11 people were trapped.
Neighbors said firefighters pulled victims from the one-story brick house and laid them on the grass.
“I’ve never seen firemen cry, but they were bawling like babies when they brought the children out,” said Shoundra Hampton, whose family lives next door. “We’ve all lived over for 40 years and we are just devastated.”
Fire crews responded around 1:22 a.m. to the fire in the 1100 block of Severson Avenue off Bellevue.
Mary Whitmore, Collier’s sister, stood on the sidewalk outside the house crying.
“She always tried to help everybody,” Whitmore said. “I can’t believe this.”
Whitmore said her sister had lived in the house with friends for the past few years.
The seven children ranged in age from 16 to 3.
Eloise Futrell was grandmother to all seven of the children who died.
“They are all gone,” said Futrell’s niece, Elisa Weathersby. “Our hearts are ripped in two.”
According to property records, the 6-room, brick veneer house was built in 1972 and was worth $27,700.
Fire officials have scheduled a 9 a.m. press conference regarding the blaze. This story will be updated.