Toddlers perish in house fire

Published 4:07 pm Thursday, November 3, 2011

A house fire on First Street in Atmore Wednesday night claimed the lives of three toddlers. An investigation into the cause of the blaze continues.

Investigators remained on the scene Thursday after a Wednesday night house fire killed three small children on First Street.

Atmore police reported that two 2-year-old girls and a 1-year-old boy were killed in the fire which began 8 p.m. Wednesday. Officials with the fire marshal’s office continued to investigate at the house Thursday, but no official cause of the fire had been determined.

Atmore Fire Department responded to the scene of the fully engulfed home at 156 First St. just after 8 p.m., where firefighters pulled three small children from the blaze. Despite the efforts of the responders, who performed CPR on the victims as Atmore Ambulance Service responded, all three children were killed.

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Atmore Fire Chief Gerry McGhee said it appeared the children were home alone at the time of the fire. McGhee said all three victims appeared to be between the ages of 1 and 3 years old.

McGhee said the cause of the fire has not been determined, but added the state fire marshal’s office has been contacted in order to form an official investigation.

Witnesses on the scene said the home where the fire occurred belongs to Betty Harris, who was reported to be at work at Atmore Nursing Center at the time of the incident. Harris is the aunt of the children, whose mothers are reportedly twin 18-year-olds.