Child dies in fire

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A seven-year-old girl is dead and her brother is in critical condition after a late night fire. Firefighters discovered the remains of D'Asia Williams after a June 23, fire. Her brother J'Quan McMillian, 13, was listed in critical condition and taken to the burn center in Augusta, Georgia. According to family members on Wednesday, June 25, McMillian underwent a 12-hour surgery and was in ICU. Williamsburg County Deputy Coroner Vernal Fulton released the name of the deceased child on Wednesday.   The fire occurred in a home located west of Hemingway at 201 Canterbury Loop, and neighbors called 911. Five other people were injured including twin sisters, a friend of the family and the grandparents, Gloria Duncan, 52, and her husband John McKnight, 48, who were keeping the visiting children. Duncan described the horrific scene. "We went to bed about 10 o'clock and everything was turned off except the air conditioner," said Duncan. "I heard something. I heard a noise, I don't, like somebody called me, or what, but I jumped up. And I went into the living room, the living room was already gone," said Duncan of the flames that she said had engulfed the front of the house. Duncan said her husband went to the boys and she ran into the girls' room and grabbed all them. "I had all three of the girls in my arms and I ran out and the fire fell off the roof."   Duncan said she ran into the kitchen but fell. When she got up she thought she had all three girls. "When I got up I thought I still had all three when I run out but out the corner of my eye I saw the other one run back into the house." She said she started to run back in but it was too late. "I was going to run back in but by the time I got ready to run in the roof fell in the kitchen." Duncan, who is know as Prophet McKnight, clarified that she wasn't sure if what she saw out the corner of her eye was a child going back into the house but when everybody was out the twins noticed D'Asia was not with them.  "She must have jumped up and went the wrong way."   Duncan believes the fire started by the front door of the house. She suffered burns to her head, hands and back. The surviving children and Mr. McKnight received minor burns. Williamsburg County Sheriff's Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are investigating the incident.   The American Red Cross is assisting the couple. “Our hearts go out to this family,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer, Palmetto SC Region, American Red Cross in a press release. “Our disaster-trained volunteers and staff are prepared to help the family today and in the days to come.” The Red Cross has arranged for temporary housing and other assistance. According to Duncan the parents of D'Asia and J'Quan are in Georgia where they are keeping vigil over their critically injured child.

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