Local News

Space heater caused fire that killed two Henderson children

Posted November 11, 2009 10:22 p.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2009 12:29 p.m. EST

— Fire investigators said Wednesday that plastic bags of clothes near a space heater started a fire that killed a 12-year-old girl and her 1-year-old brother in Henderson.

The blaze began around 9:40 p.m. Monday in a back bedroom at 132 S. Elizabeth St. The two children were trapped in the room, and firefighters were unable to reach them, authorities said. The space heater was at the foot of their bed, investigators said.

Their grandmother, Fannie Lewis, identified the girl as Abria Lewis and the boy as Joshua Chase Lewis.

Their 16-year-old brother escaped the fire, and Bernice Davis, who lives next door, said her son rescued a fourth sibling, a 9-year-old boy.

The parents, identified as Ayana and June Lewis III, had left the home briefly to go to the store, family members said. Investigators said it is unlikely any charges will be filed.

Investigators said items should be kept at least 36 inches away from portable heaters.

A memorial service for Abria and Joshua is planned Sunday at Vance Granville Community College beginning at 2 p.m.