Two-year-old girl killed in early morning fire

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Sunday morning fire destroyed a house and left a family grieving for a two-year-old girl.

The fire broke out early Sunday morning on Dell Avenue in the Binghampton neighborhood.

Firefighters said a mother and five children were in the home when it caught fire.  All got out except for one of the children.

"During the search, the crews did find the body of what appears to be a female toddler," said Keith Staples with the Memphis Fire Department.  "Possibly maybe two or three years of age."

Relatives identified the child who died as two-year-old Temera Banks.

"She was a happy little girl," said family member Detria Bolton.

Family members were overcome with grief when they learned that Banks died in the fire.  They said the other children were not hurt in the fire, but the child's mother was injured when she attempted to save her daughter.

"She was trying to get back in to save the child," said Bolton.  "I don't know how serious her injuries were."

Sadness gripped the neighborhood as some residents gathered in the street to pray.  Some firefighters prayed as well.

"In many cases, any time there is a loss of life, it has an impact," said Staples.  "Many of the firefighters on the scene do have small children, so it is a time to reflect and pray for the family that lost its loved one."

Relatives said they are leaning on their faith to help them deal with the tragic loss.

"We're just praying for strength to be able to get through this," said Bolton.

Firefighters said the child's mother was treated at the MED for injuries to her hand and arm.  The fire was reportedly sparked by a space heater.

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