Child killed in morning fire

Published 1:41 am Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fire fighters work to control a blaze early Wednesday morning at 101 Beck Street by flooding the home from its rooftop.

Officials are still awaiting an official report from the State Fire Marshal’s office regarding the cause of a house fire that erupted late Tuesday night on Beck Street, resulting in the death of a child.

The fire that broke out just before midnight Tuesday night at 101 Beck Street destroyed the roof and rear of a home and killed a 10-year-old girl, officials on the scene reported.

Although the Fire Marshal’s Office has not yet released the child’s name, neighbors say Nyamiah Shaliese Weeks, who had just completed fourth grade at A.C. Moore Elementary School, was the victim.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Weeks is said to have been in the home with her grandmother, Jackie McMurray, at the time the fire broke out. Initial indications are that the fire may have begun after a stove was left on in the home’s kitchen.

McMurray was able to escape the burning home and was not seriously injured; however, Atmore Fire Chief Gerry McGhee said four fire fighters and one police officer were transported to Atmore Community Hospital to be treated for injuries sustained during their efforts to rescue the residents and subdue the fire.

In the wake of the fire, neighbors, friends and community members who knew Weeks have been outspoken in support of the family during their time of loss.

Ashley Dortch Hughes, who taught Weeks at A.C. Moore, urged local residents to keep the family of the victim, as well as emergency workers, in their prayers.

“My heart is sad this morning as I just discovered the sweet little girl who lost her life in the fire last night was in my class this past year,” Hughes said Wednesday morning in a post on Facebook. “Life is too short to let it pass by without letting people know how much you care and how special they are. Live every moment as though it is your last. Please continue to remember the workers of this tragedy, as it weighs heavily upon them.”

Hughes is also married to Atmore firefighter Chris Hughes, who was among the injured firemen treated at ACH Wednesday morning.

“Please lift up our local firefighters and emergency personal in prayer,” she said. “This is more than a paycheck to these guys. The weight of a death weighs very heavy on each of them. I pray for peace and understanding in the victim’s family and also in each man’s heart that had to work and witness such a tragedy.”

Funeral services for Weeks have been scheduled for Tuesday, July 10 at 11 a.m. at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.

A fire at 101 Beck Street is under investigation by the Atmore Police Department and the State Fire Marshal's Office.