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1 adult, 4 kids killed in Georgia fire

April 26, 2013 News Extra

NEWNAN, Ga. — A woman and four young children died early Saturday in a fire that engulfed a home about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta.

Authorities were alerted to the fire at the single-story home in Newnan at 1:17 a.m. Saturday, said Glenn Allen, spokesman for state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. He said the fire was ruled accidental and appeared to have originated in an electrical panel.

Allen said the fire killed Alonna T. McCrary, 27, as well as her 5-year-old daughter Eriel McCrary and 2-year-old daughter Nikia White. Two other children — Messiah White, 3, and McKenzie Florence, 2 — also died. Allen said the two were sleeping over at the home.

A fifth child, 11-year-old Nautica McCrary, escaped the burning home and was taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Newnan police Chief Buster Meadows said the older girl’s mother was able to get her safely out of the house but died trying to save the remaining children.

“The mother woke her up and told her to run,” Meadows said. “There was someone outside who she ran to, and the mother went back after the others. Neither her nor the other four children made it out.”

By the time firefighters arrived, Meadows said, the house was completely engulfed in flames.

“It’s just a tragedy that’s affected that whole neighborhood over there,” the police chief said. “And it’s affected the police and fire personnel also.”

Allen said firefighters found remains of a smoke detector inside the home.