CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Four children and two women have died as a result of their injuries from a house fire in Chesterfield that happened on April 16.
Three children and one woman died in the fire early Friday, April 16, according to the Chesterfield County Fire Department.
On Saturday, officials said a fourth child died because of injuries sustained during the blaze. The children’s ages ranged from 2 to 12 years old. On Saturday evening, a release stated a second adult woman had died.
The victims have been identified as:
- Corrine Wright, 30, female
- Aubrey Wright, 12, female
- Aniyah Seaborne, 8, female
- Julian Seaborne, 5, male
- Ariabella Seaborne, 2, female
The sixth victim, an adult woman, is waiting for positive identification from the medical examiner.
Crews were called to the home in the 9900 block of Glass Road around 12:18 a.m. for the report of a fire.
Firefighters could see heavy flames coming out of a two-story home when they arrived on the scene. Officials later said they believe the fire started in a bedroom of the home.
“While Fire, EMS, and Police units were en route to the scene, there was a report that someone possibly was still inside the building,” said Chesterfield Fire Chief Loy Senter on Friday morning.
One person was found deceased inside a first-floor bedroom.
According to Chief Senter, several other victims were located on the first floor and removed by firefighters. Multiple other victims were located on the second floor and were removed by firefighters using ladders at the back of the home.
“For whatever reason, they were not able to get out, or did not have advance warning to get out,” he added.
Investigators believe that the fire originated in the first-floor bedroom where one of the victims was found.
The cause of the victims’ deaths will be determined by the medical examiner.
The three other victims who were taken to the hospital have since been released.
“Additionally, we can also report that there were working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire. Currently during the investigation there is no evidence of foul play,” Chesterfield Fire and EMS said in a release.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the Chesterfield Fire Marshal’s Office and police.
No firefighters were injured battling the fire.
The news is just heartbreaking for folks around the area. One neighbor said she would regularly walk by the house, waving hello to the children out there.
Sirens and flashing lights awoke Claudia Kepmer and her husband. They live just across the street from the house and watched as firefighters tried to get the blaze under control. Claudia says it was just hard to watch first responders carry a child out and do CPR on the grass.
“It’s devastating. I mean to have it hit so close to home and happen to people that you see, whether you know them or not, it doesn’t really matter, you never want to hear about loss of life,” said Kepmer.
Meanwhile, Chesterfield County Public Schools communicated the loss of students to the schools affected.
“When a school loses a student at a high school, it’s losing part of the family. And seeing the grief that goes around the school from the top-down, from the teachers, the principals to the counselors to the students, it’s just horrifying to see...It’s sad to see other people grieving,” Denise Flanagan, who lives in the neighborhood, said.
School officials said they planned to have resources available for students and faculty who may need that because situations like this can be tough.
Here is that letter:
As many of you have heard, a fire seriously damaged a home in schools’ attendance zone overnight. Several individuals have died.
We respect the privacy of the family and share our thoughts and prayers with those affected.
We also respect the need of the fire and police departments to conduct a thorough investigation and notify next of kin. Please know that we will be ready to support students’ needs on Monday as appropriate, and will share any information that we can over the weekend to prepare for Monday’s return.
Take care. Hug your children. Have a good weekend.
John Phillips Principal, Clover Hill High
David Altizer Principal, Manchester Middle
Jennifer Lenz Principal, Jacobs Road Elementary
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