Two adults, two young girls killed in devastating Akron house fire

Posted at 5:15 AM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 14:19:42-05

AKRON, Ohio -- A devastating early morning fire at an Akron home killed four people, including two young children.

One woman was able to jump from the second floor; she was injured but is expected to survive. A 12-year-old girl is in critical condition at a local hospital.

Mark Williamson, an Akron Public Schools official, confirmed the two girls who died in the fire are students at local elementary schools. The 8-year-old was a third grader; the 9-year-old was a fourth grader.

Williamson said counseling will be available to students in the districts who are affected by the deaths of the girls.

"My family, the Akron Fire Department, and the entire Akron community, are profoundly saddened by this devasting incident," Akron Mayor Dan Hoorigan said in a statement. "Any time our community experiences such a loss as this, it reminds us how precious life is. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family members who lost their lives ... We will see to it that the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need."

The Akron Fire Department responded to the home on East Tallmadge Avenue around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Several people were trapped and there were flames coming from both sides of the house.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward and Akron native LeBron James took to Twitter to announce that the two girls killed in the fire were members of the LeBron James Family Foundation's Wheels for Education program.

Firefighters pulled all of the victims, except the girl who jumped, from second-floor bedroom windows.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene. The three others were taken to local hospitals where they were later pronounced dead.

Investigators are looking into a cause of the fire. Fire officials say there was food in the oven and a pan on the stove.

It is unclear at this time whether the home had working smoke detectors. Investigators have not ruled anything out as a potential cause of the fire.