Grease fire to blame for blaze that killed 3-year-old

jkovac@macon.comMarch 12, 2014 

mimosa_fire

Macon-Bibb County firefighters hose down a residence at 1290 Mimosa Drive on Feb. 28. A 3-year old girl died in the blaze.

BEAU CABELL — bcabell@macon.com Buy Photo

A fatal February house fire on Mimosa Drive in Macon started on an electric stovetop, investigators say.

A 3-year-old girl, A’von Blake Martin, died in the afternoon blaze Feb. 28.

Grease used to cook chicken was left sitting in a pan on a hot burner by a 16-year-old girl who was in the house with three young children, 3-year-old twins and an 8-month-old, said Sgt. Ben Gleaton, an investigator for the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department.

Gleaton said the teen cooked the chicken and, afterward, dozed off.

She woke to the bleats of a smoke alarm and tried to round up all the children and escape.

She found two of the children and crawled out a window, but the smoke was so thick she couldn’t find A’von, the investigator said.

Fire devoured the 1,000-square-foot rental at 1290 Mimosa, south of Napier Avenue, a block west of Burton Avenue.

With flames roaring, a neighbor kicked in the front door, but he said it was too hot to go in and try to rescue the little girl.

“It hurts my heart,” neighbor Gary Burrell Jr., 26, said that day. “I did what I could.”

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.

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