Mother grieves family lost Huntsville in fire

Published: Jan. 14, 2011 at 3:39 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM CST
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By Margo Gray – bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Five people were asleep in a Huntsville home when a fire broke out early Thursday morning.

Tanicea Gray made it out, but one of her daughters didn't. As a family member consoled Tanicea Gray, she fought to hold back tears recalling what happened.

"The first thing I heard was Natalie come in the room and say 'Mommy, mommy fire!'"

The home caught fire just after 2:00 a.m. All those inside barely had enough time to react as smoke and flames traveled fast through the bedrooms, where 3-year-old Keiara Gray was asleep.

Tanicea and her boyfriend, Travor Haslerig scrambled to get everyone out.

"We had to hurry up and get out of the house, police telling us to get out of the house. You can't go back in there but I said 'My baby is in there! My baby is in there!'"

Gray and her 6-year-old daughter Natalie, though badly burned, made it out alive. Meanwhile, a Huntsville police officer on patrol came up to the scene and ran inside to save the others.

He pulled one victim to safety, but the fire prevented him from going back for Keiara and Travor. Investigators say a space heater is to blame for the fire.

Gray said the central heating unit in the home was not working so the family was using a space heater for warmth. She said she didn't know it would cost her so much.
"A space heater caused my baby and my boyfriend to die and that hurts me so bad," she said.

The 6-year-old is now recovering with family.  She suffered burns over much of her face, chest and arms.

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