Fire claims lives of two children

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Two children were killed in an early morning fire Tuesday at their home, 308 Fields Street East in Greenville.

Greenville Fire Chief Mike Phillips said the fire department received the call at 4:28 a.m. and arrived at the home at 4:30 a.m. to find the structure fully involved with flames.

&uot;The entire front half of the home where the victims were located was in flames,&uot; Phillips said. &uot;A black male was standing in front of the home and informed us that there were people inside. Two firefighters and two police officers gained entry to the house through the back bedroom and found a black female unconscious on the bed.&uot;

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The victims were 17-year-old Devencia Marshall and 12-year-old Kenyardia Pettus.

Phillips said the two adults, Bobby Mack, 45, and Shirley Marshall, 45, that were in the home at the time of the fire were sleeping in the back part of the home.

According to witnesses, Mack made several attempts to break through windows and gain access to the children’s bedroom, receiving multiple lacerations to his arms.

Mack and Marshall were both badly burned and transported to the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham’s Burn Center.

&uot;Shirley Marshall was transported via Life Flight to the center, and Mack was sent via ambulance,&uot; Phillips said. &uot;Shirley was reported to be in critical condition, but both are expected to recover.&uot;

The state fire marshall investigated the fire and hadn’t released his findings at press time, but Phillips said the fire is believed to be the result of an electrical short from a ceiling fan in the bedroom where the fire started.