Apartment fire kills 6 children and 3 adults - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Apartment fire kills 6 children and 3 adults

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

 STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Fire investigators were trying to determine what sparked a fire that killed nine people in Starkville Monday.

"In my career I can't recall anything like this," said Starkville Fire Chief Rodger Mann.

It's the deadliest fire Starkville has seen in years.  Fire officials say they received a call around 4:00 Monday morning to the Academy Crossing apartments.  It was about that time a man living upstairs in building e next to the burning unit started alerting neighbors.

"They woke us up and the other person was like the kids are on fire, the kids are on fire," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

Six children ages, six years old to just six months, were trapped inside with three women.  The neighbor tried to save them.

"They was in there.  The guy actually said he heard them scream at the time he kicked the door in," said Latasha Brown.  Brown and her two children live below the units that burned.  Her apartment sustained mostly smoke and water damage.

"I grabbed them.  We ran outside.  I didn't even have shoes on so I just got them out.  We sat in the cars and watched the building go up in flames," said Brown.

Firefighters discovered five children together in a bedroom with one adult nearby.  Another adult and child were in the bathroom and another adult was near the front door.  The victims are Castella Bell, 18 years old and her children Ta'Nayia Bell, 4, Jayvion Bell, 3, and Sumaya Bell, 6 Months.  Lakesha Gillespie, 20 years old, was a roommate.  India Williams, 25 years old, and her children Kamarion Williams, 2, Jacorian Vasser, 6 and Richard Vasser, 5 also died.

 Any donations to help the victim's relatives can be sent to the Red Cross in Starkville.

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