Molly McCrary, 11, speaks with reporters about the house fire that claimed the lives of her mother, her two sisters and two other children.
A mother, two of her daughters and two other children died early Saturday in a house fire outside Atlanta, authorities said. The only survivor was an 11-year-old girl who escaped after the mother woke her up and told her to run.
Firefighters were called just after 1 a.m. to the house, in the suburb of Newnan. The state fire marshal’s office ruled that it was an electrical fire and an accident.
The fire killed Alanna McCrary and two of her daughters, Eriel, 5, and Nikia, 2, Newnan police said in a statement. NBC affiliate WXIA reported that the mother was 28. The two other children killed were Messiah White, 3, and McKenzie Florence, 1, police said.
The surviving child was identified by local media as Nautica McCrary, nicknamed Molly.
David Tulis / AP
Sisters Brandy McCrary, left, and Breona Montgomery, who are cousins of the five fatal house fire victims, share a hug with neighbors Bonita Beasley, center, and Jennifer Moss, right.
“The mother woke her up and told her to run,” Police Chief Buster Meadows told The Associated Press. “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.”
Investigators believe a faulty breaker in the electrical panel of the house started the fire, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Firefighters found the charred remains of a smoke detector, but it was unclear whether it had worked, a spokesman for the state insurance commissioner told the AP.
Neighbors left balloons, candles, teddy bears, a small cross and two bicycles beside the mailbox later Saturday, and someone spray-painted a Bible verse on a blanket and left it there, the AP reported.
This story was originally published on Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:07 PM EDT