Four perish in early-morning fire

Kim Robins - Posted on Jan 16, 2013 - 02:22 PM

Photo: Three young children and their grandmother died in this Gloucester house fire early Wednesday. First responders said the house on Summerville Drive was fully engulfed when they arrived on scene. Photo courtesy Gloucester Sheriff's Office

Three young children and their grandmother died in this Gloucester house fire early Wednesday. First responders said the house on Summerville Drive was fully engulfed when they arrived on scene. Photo courtesy Gloucester Sheriff's Office

Three children, ages seven, two and six months, perished along with their grandmother in a fire that destroyed a Gloucester home early Wednesday morning, according to Major Ryan Cookson of the Gloucester Sheriff’s Office.

Gloucester Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief C.W. Miller said firefighters were dispatched to the home in the 6000 block of Summerville Drive just before 2:30 a.m. The initial dispatch reported there was fire showing from the home and three children were on the second floor. Three other occupants were said to have exited the house.

Miller said two Gloucester sheriff’s deputies and Gloucester Fire Chief J.D. Clements arrived first on the scene and reported the house was fully engulfed. He said two adults, a man and a woman that had escaped the home, were transported for medical treatment. A third adult had re-entered the home in an effort to rescue the children.

The remains of the adult and the children were located by firefighters Wednesday morning; Cookson said all four were residents of the home. He said positive identification of the victims is pending a report from the medical examiner’s office.

Cookson said the two hospitalized adults sustained non-life threatening injuries and were in stable condition. He said the names of the deceased were not being released Wednesday to protect the privacy of family members.

Cookson said his office and state police investigators were still working Wednesday morning to determine the cause of the fire, but their preliminary investigation suggested that it was accidental in nature.