Mother, four children die in Georgia house fire

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 27, 2013 10:31 PM

(Reuters) - A 27-year-old mother, her two daughters and two other children visiting for a sleepover died during a fire that engulfed a home early on Saturday morning southwest of Atlanta, officials said.

The only survivor was 11-year-old Nautica McCrary, who was woken up during the blaze by her mother and told "to run, that the house was on fire," according to a statement by the Newnan police department.

The fire erupted before 1:15 a.m. (0515 GMT) and was thought to have been sparked by a electrical panel in the home's den.

"The mom tweeted a picture from the sleepover last night, just one or two hours before the fire happened. The little girls were all in bed and playing," said Gina Snider, a Newnan city spokeswoman.

"It is very tragic," Snider said.

The dead children, who were all related, were between 1- and 5-years-old, police said.

When police and fire officials arrived, the single-story home, located in a subdivision, was completely engulfed in flames, police said. The Georgia Fire Marshall's office determined that the fire was accidental.

Enough's Enough
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"What sparked the fire, or what caused the malfunction of the electrical panel, is going to be something an engineer can only determine," said Glenn Allen, a spokesman for the Georgia Fire Commissioner.

A brick facade was all that remained of the home, Allen said.

Nautica was treated at a local hospital for smoke inhalation and was released, Allen said.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Tim Gaynor and Paul Simao)