By Joe Johnson
Three people were killed Wednesday in an early morning fire at the Hallmark Estates Mobile Home Park in east Athens, officials said.
According to Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson, the bodies of two adult females and a juvenile female were found in the trailer after the fire was extinguished by firefighters. Another juvenile reportedly escaped from the fire with minor injuries.
Wilson said the deceased victims had been badly burned and that their bodies were transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification.
““This is a tragic loss in our community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the victims,” Athens-Clarke County Fire Chief Jeff Scarbrough said.
According to a release issued by the Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Department, firefighters were dispatched to Hallmark Estates off Spring Valley Road on a 3:27 a.m. report from someone that their neighbor’s home was on fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found a mobile home that was fully-involved with fire, according to the release, and due to the intensity of the blaze, fire crews mounted a defensive attack.
“As crews were working to get the fire under control, they received reports from a neighbor that a juvenile had escaped from the fire and stated there were other family members inside the home,” according to the release. “After the juvenile was treated on scene, they were transported by National EMS to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.”
When fire crews were able to extinguish the fire enough to safely make entry into the structure, the bodies of three deceased victims were located.
ACCFES Capt. Nate Moss said the surviving child was a 12-year-old boy who suffered burns to the shoulder and minor smoke inhalation.
"He has been through a lot and will hopefully be able to assist in our investigation as to what might have happened," Moss said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.