Local News

Three victims of Onslow house fire out of hospital

Posted February 28, 2012

— Three teens injured last week when a fire tore through their Onslow County home, killing three of their siblings, are out of the hospital, authorities said Tuesday.

Sixteen-year-old Samantha Pittman and 14-year-old twins Adrienne and Gabrielle Pittman were released from New Hanover Regional Hospital in Wilmington over the weekend after being treated for injuries they suffered in escaping the fire.

Authorities said the twins jumped from a second-story window, and family friends said one girl tossed their 4-year-old brother, Jonathan, down to the other before jumping.

Authorities said an electrical short in the kitchen of the home at 2124 Wilmington Highway, in the Verona community south of Jacksonville, might have sparked the Thursday morning fire.

Tabitha Pittman, 12, and two younger brothers, Elijah, 9, and Gabriel, 7, were found dead in the living room, and authorities said all three had been overcome by smoke.

Glenn Taylor, assistant chief of the Southwest Volunteer Fire Department, said investigators have found no evidence of any working smoke detectors in the home.

An eighth sibling, 10-year-old Hannah Pittman remains in the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. She was in critical condition with third-degree burns on her arms, face and back.

The children's mother, Johnetta Pittman, was treated for smoke inhalation and released on Thursday. But she was later admitted to UNC Hospitals after experiencing breathing difficulties, and she was still hospitalized Tuesday.


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