MEMPHIS, Tennessee: The Tennessean says seven children were among 11 people who died in a house fire in South Memphis, Monday morning.
“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.”
Firefighters pulled the victims including the small bodies of children out of the one story brick house and laid them on the lawn the report said.
The children who died 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.
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.
Visit commercialappeal.com for updates as the story develops.
— The Tennessean (@Tennessean) September 12, 2016