Nine dead, including at least 6 kids, in apartment fire - - Jackson, MS

Nine dead, including at least 6 kids, in apartment fire

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STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Nine people have been killed in an apartment complex fire in Starkville. Six of them are children, all 6 years old and younger.

Starkville fire officials received the call around 4:00 this morning. When they arrived at Academy Crossing Apartments, off Highway 12, they found two second floor units in building engulfed in flames. All 9 people were inside one unit.

A neighbor alerted other residents to the fire and tried the reach the children trapped inside the burning apartment.

"We woke up and the other person was like, get the kids, get the kids" said Latasha Brown. "So I grabbed them. We ran outside. I didn't even have shoes so I just got them and got out. When we got outside, we just backed the cars outside. We sat in the cars and just watched the building go up in flames."

Fire officials say the blaze started in the living room of the unit where the nine people died. They are still looking into what caused the fire.

Five of the children were found together huddled in a back bedroom.

Autopsies are being conducted on the 3 adults. The Oktibbeha County Coroner says it appears everyone died from smoke inhalation.

West Memorial Funeral Home of Starkville will be handling the arrangements. Services are incomplete at this time. The dead are:

Mother & 3 Children

  • Castella Bell- Age 18
  • Ta'Nayia Bell-Age 4
  • Jayvion Bell-Age 3
  • Sumaya Bell-6 Months

Lakesha Gillespie-Age 20

Mother & 3 Children

  • India Williams-Age 25
  • Kamarion Williams-Age 2
  • Jacorian Vasser-Age 6
  • Richard Vasser-Age 5
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