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Funeral Arrangements Set for Mother Killed in Fire

Updated: Thursday, April 18 2013, 08:11 PM EDT
COLUMBUS - Funeral arrangements are set for a young Columbus mother, who was killed in a fire.

Flames broke out at a duplex at 1272 East Long Street last Friday.

16 year old Acairia Watkins saved her 1 month old daughter's life by placing the baby on the roof of the porch to be rescued.

But Watkins and a 28 year old woman would later succumb to their injuries.

Watkins will be laid to rest Monday.

Wednesday afternoon, firefighters at Columbus Fire Station 8 talked about the rescue efforts that happened just steps away from the fire station.

Captain David Roggenkamp says heavy smoke cut visibility to zero.

"There was fire coming out of that bottom window and heavy smoke coming out all of these windows," said Roggenkamp as he walked around the house

He says anxiety was ramped up because they knew there were people inside.

"When you know you're looking for a baby, trying to feel extra clothes and that can be a challenge," said Roggenkamp.
"It's dark, you've got a camera, but it's hard to feel what's what."

Firefighter Bill Grubb went into a burning room to search for victims.

"I felt in the back of my mind I'm missing something," said Grubb. "I'm spread all over the floor, looking on the bed..
there's zero visibility and high heat conditions."

Firefighters stress it was a team effort. They found the baby on the roof, and eventually got the women out of the home.
But sadly only the baby survived.   

Firefighters say their training kicked in when they heard the calls for help.

They suggest you train for a disaster at your home: clearing clutter, having a working smoke detector, an escape plan, and not leaving cooking unattended are all possible fire dangers that could hamper rescue efforts.

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Reporter: Terri Sullivan
Web Producer: Kellie HannaFuneral Arrangements Set for Mother Killed in Fire


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