LOGANVILLE — Gwinnett County Police say a fire that killed a 10-year-old girl in Loganville is being investigated as a homicide.
Firefighters responded just before 5 a.m. on Easter to an occupant report of a house fire on Beaver Road SW in unincorporated Loganville. The 911 caller said there was a fire in front of the house, and she was trying to rescue the kids.
The caller said two kids were outside with the caller and two kids were still inside the house. Due to the information provided, additional units were requested and started towards the scene.
On arrival, firefighters found a single-story residence on a slab with heavy fire involvement throughout the front of the structure. A walk-around of the structure was completed while hose lines were deployed through the tree line to the front of the home. While crews worked to get a knockdown, multiple crews arriving on scene began performing Vent-Enter-Search which focuses searches on tenable locations for victims primarily utilizing exterior window access.
Multiple aggressive search attempts were executed to locate the missing children. After the fire was brought under control, a 10-year-old girl was found dead in room used as a bedroom without window access.
Efforts continued for the next couple hours to sift through debris to locate the 15-year-old boy who was believed to be inside.
At about 9 a.m., the 15-year-old was located away from the scene and appeared to be okay, according to fire officials. The home sustained extensive fire damage throughout the front half of the structure including the attic.
Gwinnett County Police detectives were requested to the scene. At this time, police suspect the fire was set intentionally by a sibling of the deceased victim.
This is still an active investigation and is being treated as a Homicide. Gwinnett Police detectives are working closely with arson investigators throughout the duration of this investigation.
Two cats were also found dead inside the home.
A total of seven people lived at the home including two adults and five children. One adult and four children were at home when the fire broke out.
According to a family member, smoke alarms are installed in the home, but they did not activate. Gwinnett County Police Chaplains and the American Red Cross are assisting the family with temporary needs for the two adults, four children and two dogs.
Fire investigators responded to the scene for origin and cause determination. The cause of the fire remains under active investigation.
Firefighters encourage all citizens to practice home fire safety. Be sure to install working smoke alarms on every level of the home and in each bedroom. Develop a home escape plan and practice fire drills regularly. For additional information on home fire safety, please contact the Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services’ Community Risk Reduction Division at 678-518-4845 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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