Great-grandmother, 2 children die in early morning house fire

Great-grandmother Gloria Anderson (Source: Family)
Great-grandmother Gloria Anderson (Source: Family)
Michele Williams (left), her twin brother, Ma'Liyah Jackson, (right) Source: Family
Michele Williams (left), her twin brother, Ma'Liyah Jackson, (right) Source: Family
Iroquois Street near North 38th Street (Source: WAFB)
Iroquois Street near North 38th Street (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Tragedy struck a big family in north Baton Rouge Friday morning.

Two young children and their great-grandmother were killed overnight when their house caught fire. Two others were hurt and are now in the fight of their lives.

Firefighters rushed to this burning house on Iroquois Street shortly after 4 a.m. Friday morning. Neighbors say a 19-year-old girl, who was on fire, banged on their doors yelling for help. Inside that home, investigators say were a 77-year-old woman and three of her great-grandchildren.

"Firefighters are heartbroken," Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman Curt Monte told 9News.

RELATED: Summary of fatal fires in EBR Parish during first week of 2018

Gloria Anderson, 77, and two of her great-grandchildren Michele Williams, 6, and MaLiyah Jackson died. Family members say Michele's twin brother Michael had to be taken to a hospital in Shreveport.

"This is unthinkable what happened here today, the number of people in this family. This will go down in history as the biggest hurt to some people for the rest of their life," said Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning

People who knew Ms. Anderson say she was simply the best. Her friend, Catherine Moses says she was a church lady, always dressed in her Sunday best, a woman who often cooked for friends and invited them in.

"The days I used to sit in there and all the meals I used to eat," recalls Moses. "It's just so many memories here, in this yard, this house. I could take you through it blindfolded. I just can't believe it."

Moses would have a hard time finding her way around today. Anderson's house is hardly recognizable. All of the memories she made here have been reduced to ashes. There's a long road ahead for relatives who must now cope with the horror story, especially the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are too young to grasp the stark reality of what happened here.  

"It's going to be okay. There is a God and he lives and he will take care of you," said Moses.

Fire investigators do not suspect foul play. They are looking into a couple of gas heaters as a possible cause of the fire.

Iroquois Street from North 38th Street is currently closed. Several agencies remain on the scene to assist in the investigation.

Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning is also encouraging people who need them to get smoke detectors installed for free INSTANTLY. He said as soon as you make a request, an agency will go to your home to install one for you ASAP.

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