Investigators look into deadly apartment fire - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Investigators look into deadly apartment fire

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Fire investigators are looking for what caused a deadly apartment fire in Decatur that killed two young children. Fire investigators are looking for what caused a deadly apartment fire in Decatur that killed two young children.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Fire investigators are looking for what caused a deadly apartment fire in Decatur.

Two young children died in the blaze at the West Ridge Apartments on 5th Avenue Southwest on Thursday.

Decatur and state fire investigators will work through the weekend, trying to pinpoint what caused the fire at that took the lives of 4-year-old Marlena Miland and her 2-year-old brother, Dexter. They have investigated dozens of fires before, but they said ones like this one are the hardest.

"It certainly hits home when you have two young children yourself," said Decatur Fire Marshal Jason Jones. "It makes it tough to go through, but certainly we want to do everything we can to see what the cause is to hopefully prevent fires in the future. That's what this is about. We learn from them."

The Lawrence-Morgan County American Red Cross is helping the parents and their son cope with the immediate aftermath of their tragic loss with a place to stay, help with food and clothes, and access to grief counseling.

"We are devastated," said Beth Tutwiler-McGuire, Executive Director of the group. "Literally, words cannot express the sympathy and sorrow that we feel for that family. It's one thing when you lose your home or you lose your possessions. But when you lose a child, that just... I couldn't imagine that there would be anything as horrible."

The Red Cross director said the outpouring from the community has been tremendous, like Friday morning when a man offered to donate a washer and dryer and a sofa to the family. The Red Cross is also helping four other people who have been displaced because of the fire.

A fund for the Miland family has been set up at Redstone Federal Credit Union.

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