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Walnut Hill fire takes lives of three children

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Five children and an adult escaped an early morning fire Sunday.
Three children didn't.
They were three, five and eight years old.
Katie Lee Marshall had nine children with her in her mobile home on Cypress Street in Walnut Hill. According to information received by Stewart, all were related.
Stewart said the fire marshal reported that one of the older children had gotten up during the night to fix something to eat. But the teen laid back down and went to sleep, and left the stove on.
The call came in to the department at 2:57 a.m. Sunday.
Stewart, who had taken a fire truck from Bratt to the scene and was one of the last to arrive, added it was already too late even when the first truck arrived.
When he got there, the other fire fighters had the fire knocked down. Then they started looking for the victims.
All three victims were in one room, an add-on to the mobile home. The other children ranged in age from six to 15.
Stewart said he was pleased with the agencies response to the fire.
Respondents included the Walnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department, the Molino VFD, the McDavid VFD, the Century VFD, the Atmore Fire Department, the Red Cross and TIPS. TIPS is a trauma intervention team made up of volunteers. The team is called out to help people – such as family members – who are immediately affected by trauma to free the fire fighters or other emergency personnel to do their jobs.
Fire personnel stayed at the scene until about 8 a.m.