Three Killed in Warren County Fire
Posted February 10, 1998
ARCOLA — Three people are dead after an overnight fire in Warren County. One of those killed was a 4-year-old Brittany Williams. Also killed were the child's grandparents -- 92-year-old Ollie Richardson, partially blind, and deaf, and his 62-year-old wife, Clara, who was wheelchair-bound with multiple sclerosis.
The Warren County Sheriff's Department said the fire apparently started in the kitchen of the small house on a rural road near Arcola, but the actual cause is still unknown. Family members and friends from the community gathered at the charred shell of the house Wednesday, staring in disbelief at the damage.
Juanita Richardson, a cousin of the victims, told WRAL-TV5'sMark Robertsthat none of the three had a chance of surviving the horrific fire.
Another cousin, Percy Richardson, told Roberts he came running when he saw the fire, but it was too late to help.
Brittany's mother also lived in the house, but was at work most of the day Tuesday, and was reportedly having her taxes prepared at the time the fire broke out, about 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the fire. SBI agents were at the scene Wednesday afternoon looking for clues. There has been no indication that the fire is suspicious.