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March 17, 2004
2 killed in Hampton VA fire
photos courtesy of Tod Parker
A young woman and her 18-month-old daughter were killed in a fire that was sparked by an ember from a fireplace, fire officials said Wednesday.

The bodies of Erica Lawrence, 21, and Gabby Daily were found in an upstairs bedroom after firefighters snuffed the blaze.

 

Fire officials said the blaze had engulfed the house by the time they arrived around midnight Wednesday. They did not know if a smoke detector in the home worked.

Six other relatives fled the fire by climbing onto first-floor porch roof, then onto the roof of a car below, smashing its windshield.

Investigators concluded that an ember from a fireplace had landed on a nearby sofa cushion in the home some time after 10:30 p.m., when the family had gone to bed.

Heavy smoke and intense heat kept the firefighters from reaching the mother and daughter on the second floor, fire officials said.