Florida Panhandle fire in Marianna kills 4 women, children escape
1:26 PM, Jan 2, 2014
3:14 PM, Jan 2, 2014
MARIANNA, Fla. (AP) -- Four women died Wednesday in a house fire in the Florida Panhandle.
Marianna Fire Chief Nakeya Lovett said three smoke detectors woke up six children in the house. All the children escaped the fire.
"That's what woke them up to alert everybody that there was a fire, to try to get everybody out. And unfortunately the four didn't make it out," Lovett told WJHG-TV. "These women were pillars in the community. A lot of people would pass by and blow the horn as they saw them sitting on the porch. It's just heart-breaking."
James Rhynes said the fire killed four of his relatives.
"My grandmother, her name is Gertrude Pete. Her mother, which is Sarah Johnson, that's my great grandmother, and then my mother's father's mother, Elise Pete, which was also in the house, and then my mom's baby sister who was also in the house, Cynthia Pete," Rhynes said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"Right now we're speculating that it came from an overloaded extension cord," Lovett said.