Local News

Cause of fire that killed 12-year-old undetermined

Posted October 14, 2010

— Durham firefighters said Wednesday that they have had difficulty determining the cause of an Aug. 15 fire that killed a 12-year-old girl.

Destiny Ledwell, a rising seventh-grader at Shepard Middle School, died in the early morning fire in the 2400 block of Nebo Street. 

Her 16-year-old brother smelled smoke and helped other members of the three-generation family escape, but Destiny's door was locked. Her body was found by a window in her room.

Fire department spokeswoman Sierra Jackson said Wednesday that investigators were receiving conflicting information from a witness, making it "difficult to pinpoint an exact cause of origin."

Investigators have determined that the fire started in a space used as a bedroom and laundry room.


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  • justafella Oct 14, 2010

    Rest in Peace Destiny. Prayers for the family.

  • raggy831 Oct 14, 2010

    She was a beautiful young girl! The family still need our prayers.

  • shediva Oct 14, 2010

    Unfortunately the smell of smoke cannot be detected when sleeping (hence, the urgency for all houses to have smoke detectors.) The room was probably engulfed with smoke and flames by the time she was even awakened (if she was awakened before she passed at all.) Many people don't realize how fast flames can engulf a house. Within SECONDS, an entire house can be consumed by fire (especially older houses with lesser flame resistant materials.) Very sad indeed.

  • 27615 Oct 14, 2010

    one story house and she was by the window...it's sad she couldn't get out....