| Five people dead
in hotel fire
07 June, 2007
RIVERDALE, Ga. - Five people were killed and another
five were injured in a hotel fire Thursday morning,
a fire department spokesman said.
Five people killed and another five people, including
two firefighters, were taken to hospitals, said Lt.
Billy Rice, a spokesman for the Clayton County Fire
Department. A fire broke out at a suburban Atlanta
motel Thursday, killing five family members whose
bodies were found in and near a bathtub and injuring
at least six other people, authorities said.
The dead included two adults and three children,
Georgia Insurance and Fire Commissioner John Oxendine
said. The cause of the fire was not known.
Clayton County Fire Chief Alex Cohilas said six people
were hospitalized, including three firefighters and
two women and a man who were staying at the Budget
Inn in Riverdale.
One of the people staying at the motel suffered severe
burns and was being treated at the burn unit of Grady
Memorial Hospital, Oxendine said.
At least a dozen people were evacuated, Cohilas said.
Crews were searching for other victims in the partially
collapsed motel, though firefighters believed they
had accounted for everyone, Oxendine said.
It was not clear how many people were in the motel
when the fire started, and all the records in the
building were destroyed by the fire, said Lt. Billy
Rice, a spokesman for the Clayton County Fire Department.
A firefighter passing by saw the flames and reported
the blaze around 7:30 a.m., officials said.
Oxendine said the fire started on the second floor
of the two-story motel.
Sebastian Wimbush, a friend and neighbor of the family,
said they had expected to move into a new house near
the motel Thursday. Wimbush said the man lived with
his wife and three children, the oldest about 14,
the youngest around 10.
Fire Officials Say Deadly Georgia
Hotel Blaze is Arson
06-14-2007 12:41:57 PM
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A motel fire that killed five people and
injured six others was caused by arson, officials
"Everyone is 100 percent certain that this is
definitely arson," Georgia Insurance and Safety
Fire Commission John Oxendine said Wednesday. "This
was a heinous crime."
The fire, which broke out early last Thursday, destroyed
the 44-unit Budget Inn in Riverdale, an Atlanta suburb.
"We are not going to let this go lightly,"
Riverdale Fire Chief Billy Hayes said. "We do
have five victims, I don't want us to lose scope of
that. We had firefighters that were injured fighting
an intentionally set blaze. I take that personally."
Killed in the blaze were: Shakita Jones, 32; her
children Devon Butler and Desha Butler; her fiance
Fred Colston Jr., 26, and her uncle Melvin Jones,
43. Three other residents and three firefighters were
injured in the fire.
The fire began behind the economy motel by a stack
of mattress below the unit where the victims died,
Arson is a felony offense, and murder charges could
also apply, Hayes said. Investigators did not name
any suspects, and would not speculate on a motive.
A $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest
is being offered