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Fire update: Victims identified; two still critical

Two girls remain in extremely critical condition following a Sunday morning fire at their mobile home at 1927 Hwy. 36 East Sunday moring. Meanwhile all nine persons involved in the fire have been identified and the cause of the blaze has been narrowed down. Our Feb. 14 print edition story follows: *************** ©The Herald Gazette/ This information may not be reprinted, broadcast or distributed electronically in any form or fashion without express consent. For reprint permission, e-mail *************** By Walter Geiger An early-morning fire Sunday sent six members of a Milner family to hospitals. Two girls were trapped inside the mobile home, suffered smoke inhalation injuries and were in extremely critical condition at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta at presstime Monday. Fire chief Steve Andrews reported firefighters arrived to a chaotic scene on Hwy. 36 East at 7:19 a.m. after being paged out at 7:12 a.m. Emergency personnel went in the front door of the home and removed the two girls from a back bedroom through a window. As they were working, an adult female crawled out another window. Anna Hambrick, 10, was trapped inside the longest, having been removed at 7:26 a.m. “She was in there for 14 minutes after we got the call but there is no telling how long the fire was going before that,” Andrews said. Hambrick was not responding to treatment Monday and the family may have to face hard decisions regarding life support, Andrews noted. Hailey Power, 14, was also inside the home for a lengthy period and had to be resuscitated at the scene. She was also in bad shape and remained on life support Monday. Homeowner Susan Taylor Mote, 54, remains in an Atlanta area hospital on a ventilator but is in better condition than the girls, Andrews said. Ventilators are commonly used with smoke inhalation patients, he added. Also still hospitalized at the Grady burn unit is Brenda Icehour, 49. She is in critical condition and on a ventilator. Others in the home at the time of the blaze who have been released from area hospitals include Angela Maddox, 32; Jennifer Calhoun, 25; Allen Maddox, 5; and Larry Dobbins whose age was not reported. Andrews said initial indications are the fire started from a small kerosene heater in the living room or a radiator-style oil heater that was also in the living room. County commissioner Nancy Thrash, who has been with the family at Egleston, said she was told the fire started when a Coleman lantern Dobbins lit exploded in the home. The residence was located at 1927 Hwy. 36 East. According to tax records, the 1989 Colony mobile home is owned by Allen Taylor Mote and Susan Calhoun Mote. Allen Mote was not in the home when the blaze broke out but arrived shortly afterwards and attempted to rouse those inside. He also suffered from smoke inhalation and is hospitalized at Emory, Thrash said. Along with local firefighters, Butts County fire units and personnel from the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center fire department were called in to battle the fire in freezing conditions. ”Our firefighters and first responders did a wonderful job on this,” Thrash concluded.

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