Local News

Three Children Killed in Apartment Fire

Posted February 1, 1996 6:00 a.m. EST

— February 2, 1996 - 5:22 p.m. EST

additional details --> Three children were killed early Friday in an apartment fire at a public housing complex, authorities said.

Angela Wilder, the mother of the children, was taken to the burn center at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. Information on her condition was not immediately available.

The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. at the Heritage Park housing project, a low-income housing development near downtown Raleigh. Authorities said it burned rapidly, getting a head start on firefighters.

"They had heavy fire conditions on the first floor of this particular apartment," said L. B. Woodall, assistant chief of the Raleigh Fire Department. "Of course, heavy smoke conditions on the second floor, but the majority of the fire appeared to be on the lower floor of the apartment."

Woodall added that the building had no ledge, and only one stairway.

Eight people were in the apartment -- Wilder and her seven children. The bodies of the victims, 9-year-old Chastity, 6-year-old Ashley and 3-year-old Shatona were found in a second-floor bedroom. A fourth child, Roderick, suffered burns severe enough to require treatment at the burn center at UNC Hospitals. His age and condition are not known.

The fire reportedly began in a bedroom, but firefighters say they still do not know what caused it