An Ohio woman and three of her grandchildren perished in a house fire that erupted early Friday morning, police said. The blaze was reported in Fayette County, south of Columbus, at about 4 a.m., according to 911 calls obtained by NBC News.
"There is a fire out here. A house burning down," a neighbor told a Fayette County Sheriff's Office dispatcher. "I’m surprised someone hasn't called because it's burned almost completely down ... nothing but the flames are showing," the caller added.
The victims were identified as 60-year-old Terry Harris, and grandchildren Kenyon Harris, 14, Broderick Harris, 11, and Braylon Harris, 9, reported NBC affiliate WCMH. The children's parents live nearby, but the kids wanted to spend Christmas night with their grandmother, fire officials told the station.
The parents were on scene within minutes of crews arriving, and the bodies of the four victims were pulled out of the charred debris after daybreak. "Grandma was close to the front door. The other children were behind her, and so we're just assuming that she was by the front door — that she was trying to corral the children to help them get out," Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth told WCMH. Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the blaze.
— Elisha Fieldstadt