HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A fatal fire that took the lives of a mother and her two children this morning. All three were all found inside their home when firefighters arrived about six a.m. The story centers in eastern Henrico. Investigators are still looking for what caused the fire on Battery Street.
Even without a cause, investigators say the fire does not appear suspicious. It does appear that the mother and her two kids barely had a chance to get out alive.
Firefighters arrived before sunrise and saw smoke and flames erupting from the single level house. By then, they knew who was in there: a 27 year old mother and her two children: ages eight and two. The kids were found in the bedroom. The mother was down on the hallway floor with no chance of survival.
"Whether she was, had awoken up to determine what was going on or whether she was trying to make her way back to the bedroom where the children were, we still don't know," said Henrico Fire Captain Chris Buehren.
The mother was pronounced dead on the scene. The children later died at the hospital. A family dog also died. Relatives and friends gathered and shared hugs nearby.
"Family just very quiet, very somber. Not in the greatest mood to talk," said Loren Johnson.
As the morning went on - it became more clear that the fire was burning long before the family ever realized it. Investigators later said, that battery in the smoke detector, fell out...probably due to the fire. But firefighters said it's unclear if the battery was ever working to begin with. Neighbors like Dorothy Fleming, found it all so sad.
"Everybody sees everyone around in the yard and knows everybody. You know, seeing them playing in the yards, and it's bad, it's really bad," said Dorothy.
Now, as firefighters investigate the cause, they also have this reminder about smoke detectors, and their batteries.
"Early morning, early detection...you know, the outcome could've been different. We don't know if that would've made a huge difference or not, but it could have," said Buehren.