Mysterious Apartment Fire Claims 9 Lives

Chassel Jenkins, in blanket, is comforted by friends after a fire moved through an apartment complex where Chase lived, Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, in Starkville, Miss. Nine people, including at least six children, died early Monday in an apartment fire, officials said. The blaze was reported around 4 a.m., according to Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt. He and state Fire Marshal Mike Chaney confirmed the deaths. Hunt said the children ranged in age from 4 months to 6 years. (AP Photo/The Starkville Daily News, Shea Staskowski)
Chassel Jenkins, in blanket, is comforted by friends after the fire Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/The Starkville Daily News, Shea Staskowski)

A horrendous event occurred in Mississippi that has claimed the lives of three women and their six children.  The children range in ages from 6 months to 6 years old.

According to the New York Times, the owner of the apartment complex, Mildred Rollins, said she was not aware of the faulty wiring that the Academy Crossing complex residents complained about to reporters.

One of the women who died in the fire, India Williams, 25, had taken in her cousin, Castella “Maria” Bell, 18 and her three children because they had been having a rough time.  Williams worked at a fast food restaurant and also had three children. Both women and their children perished in the fire.  The ninth victim Lakesha Gillespie, 20, was reported to be in a relationship with Williams.

The incident is under investigation, but the fire chief said a recent inspection by a private company didn’t turn up any issues within the building.  The neighbors talk about these women as wonderful and kind and our prayer is only that their family and friends are given peace in the midst of this tragedy.

Read about them all here.

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