Two teens die in early morning fire in Southaven - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Two teens die in early morning fire in Southaven

Two teens died in a fire early Monday morning in Southaven, Mississippi.

Investigators said the fire broke out at a house in the 3700 block of Getwell just after 2:30 a.m.

A.J. Hardrick, 14, and Devin Thorton, 13, died in the fire. Fire officials believe the teens, who were half-brothers, died of smoke inhalation. 

Investigators said a third person was able to make it out of the buring house alive, but did not have enough time to save the two brothers, who were sleeping in separate bedrooms.

Hardrick and Thorton were both students at DeSoto Central Middle School. A counselor was at the school Monday to help students deal with the loss.

Upon hearing of their friends' deaths, emotional students and faculty gathered in the gymnasium at the school.  There, they wrote heartfelt thoughts on posters and paper as a memorial to the teens.  

Principal Chad White struggled to talk about losing the brothers, and the impact they had on their classmates.

"They were two good men who weren't in the office," he said. "They did everything you asked them to do the first time you asked them to do it."

The brothers were on the basketball team, and practiced frequently at home.  Players said the team would memorialize the brothers with a patch on their uniforms, remembering who they were in life, and honoring them in death.

Authorities have not yet determined what caused the fire.

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